The Daily Manila Shimbun


PHL thanks Japan for quick release of 10-B yen loan to aid typhoon victims

January 6, 2021

The Philippines has thanked Japan for quickly disbursing another 10-billion yen under the second phase of its Post Disaster Standby Loan 2 (PDSL 2) program that will support ongoing government efforts to rehabilitate areas, and help families affected, by the series of powerful typhoons that devastated parts of Luzon in the last quarter of 2020.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said this financial support from Japan (equivalent to approximately P4.67 billion or US$91.79 million) will help cover the funding needed to help families get back on their feet and rebuild communities following the destruction left by typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses in October and November last year.

This disbursement on January 5 brings to JPY20 billion yen (about P9.33 billion or US$183.58 million) the funds released so far by Japan to the Philippines under PDSL 2.

“On behalf of the Philippine government, I express my gratitude to the people and government of Japan for helping our country swiftly mobilize financial resources for the massive rehabilitation efforts in the areas pummeled by typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses,” Secretary Dominguez said.

The government estimates losses of over P10 billion combined in the agriculture sector alone from these three cyclones that struck the country one after the other in two weeks' time beginning October.

“The speedy release of this 10-billion yen loan underscores anew the Japanese government's unwavering support for the Duterte administration's disaster relief and mitigation programs,” Secretary Dominguez added. "Such immediate financial support at this time will certainly go a long way in helping our people and communities recover quickly from the devastation wrought by the three super typhoons."

The JPY10-billion disbursement on January 5 is the second fund release under the JPY50-billion (about P23.33 billion or US$ 458.95 million) PDSL 2, which was formalized between the Philippines and Japan last Sept. 15 through an agreement signed by Secretary Dominguez and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa.

“As a friend and trusted partner of the Philippines, JICA stands by Filipinos whose lives were disrupted because of the recent natural disasters. Through the JICA post-disaster assistance, we hope that vulnerable sectors affected will find relief and support to recover their livelihood and income through the spirit of ‘bayanihan’ in these difficult times,” Chief Representative Azukizawa said following the second PDSL 2 disbursement.

Chief Representative Azukizawa also said that “as partners for inclusive development, JICA is supporting the Philippines with available financial resources to mitigate the impact of natural disasters and health crisis. We’re making it clear that we’re in this together and that JICA will support development partners who need our assistance.”

Japan earlier disbursed another JPY10 billion yen to the Philippines to support the government’s COVID-19 response measures following President Duterte’s extension of the state of calamity on Sept. 16 throughout the Philippines because of the pandemic.

President Duterte later declared a state of calamity in the entire Luzon on Nov. 18 through Proclamation 1051 to “hasten the rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts of the government and the private sector, including any international humanitarian assistance,” in the wake of the devastation wrought by the strong typhoons that struck the country in the last quarter.

Under the agreement for the PDSL2, the disbursement of the standby loan to the Philippines will be triggered by either of the following circumstances: 1) the declaration of a state of calamity; or 2) the declaration of a state of public health emergency.

On top of PDSL 2, JICA has supported the Philippines’ pandemic response measures through a JPY50 billion yen COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL).

The Philippines became the first recipient of Japan’s emergency support loan for COVID-19 affected economies with the early disbursement last Aug. 14 of the 50-billion CCRESL to the government.

Aside from committing to support the Philippines’ disaster response and mitigation programs, Japan has also been a reliable partner of President Duterte's centerpiece “Build Build Build” infrastructure modernization program.

Since the start of the Duterte administration in July 2016, 15 loan agreements totaling JPY679.296 billion (about P313.147 billion or US$6.443 billion) have been signed by Manila and Tokyo.

About 82 percent of this funding support is for big-ticket infrastructure projects under “Build, Build, Build."

Japan is also the Philippines’ no.1 Official Development Assistance (ODA) partner, with loans and grants amounting to around US$10.10 billion (38.53 percent of total ODA) as of June 2020.