Financing support vs COVID hits $13B

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    The Philippines was able to secure financing support from development partners and commercial markets for the country’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) response amounting to $13.36 billion to date, according to data from the Department of Finance (DOF).

    This was the amount secured for COVID-19 response efforts as of December 15, 2020, data posted on the DOF website showed.

    DOF said $12.72 billion in budgetary support financing came from the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Export-Import Bank of Korea-Economic Development Cooperation Fund, and US dollar-denominated global bonds.
    Of the said amount, $10.77 billion has been disbursed to the government.

    In addition, the DOF said grant and loan financing amounting to $641.36 million have been contracted in support of various projects to be implemented by agencies involved in COVID-19 response.

    “Fighting the pandemic is costly, as you very well know. Fortunately, the Philippines quickly accessed financing from our development partners and the commercial markets at very low rates, tight spreads, and longer repayment periods,” Carlos Dominguez, DOF secretary, said earlier this month.

    “This year, we expect to collect less in taxes even as we increase spending in healthcare and relief measures. The borrowings we have secured at concessional rates will help cover our revenue shortfall,” he added.

    Dominguez said the goal is to land the deficit-to-gross domestic product ratio in the middle range of Asean neighbors and credit rating peers around the world.

    “This conservative approach will allow us to continue accessing the financing we need at favorable terms for the Filipino people,” he said. – Angela Celis