Philippines' loans for COVID-19 response reach $5.76 billion

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 25 2020 04:28 PM | Updated as of Jun 25 2020 04:54 PM

Stranded passengers settle at the Philippine Army Gym in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on June 13, 2020, as they wait for flights out of the capital. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippines has secured at least $5.758 billion (P288 billion) in loans from different lenders to finance the country's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Thursday.

The figure was based on the report of the Department of Finance as of June 4, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.

"Mayroon na po tayong naiutang na $5,758,000,000. Iyan po ang sumatotal ng ating naiutang na para sa COVID responses," he said in a Palace press briefing.

(We have borrowed $5.758 billion. That is the total amount of our loans for COVID-19 response.)

The amount includes financing from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado on Wednesday said the Philippines has spent P355 billion so far for its response to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that more funds were needed to address the crisis.

Of the said amount, Avisado said P247.52 billion came from pooled savings while P96.7 billion came from unprogrammed appropriations.

The Department of Finance had said the government planned to raise up to P400 billion from borrowings to help fund the country's recovery from the pandemic.