PH’s COVID-19 response “bill” racked up to P386.6 billion

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Photo source: Al Jazeera

An estimated amount P386.6 billion in loans, grants, and the issuance of bonds have been secured by the Philippine government for its coronavirus disease pandemic response, according to the newly released data from the Department of Finance (DOF).

The running total has a payment period of 26 years, from 2023–2049, with an average repayment period of 15 years for each loan, based on the amortization schedules indicated in the loan agreement documents available on the DOF website as of July 1.

Nearly all loans will come from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), and through the issuance of bonds.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently shared that the global health crisis has severely depleted the country’s treasury.

In March, Congress passed the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act law that granted Duterte special powers to tap some P275 billion in unused government funds to address the crisis.

Under the same law, the government was allowed to provide cash aid from P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million families belonging to low-income households.

Around P355 billion of funds has been spent as of June 24 to address the COVID-19 crisis, according to the Department of Budget and Management. 

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