The Department of Finance (DOF) thanked the Japanese government for its funding assistance extended to the Philippines that supported its coronavirus response efforts, especially in providing emergency assistance to vulnerable sectors.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said Japan’s disbursement of 20-billion yen under the second phase of the Post-Disaster Standby Loan (PDSL-2) helped meet the government’s huge financial requirements.

In particular, Dominguez said the PDSL-2 package funded the government’s emergency cash aid to families affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ that were imposed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces early this year.

The 20-billion yen disbursement, which the government received this month, represents the third tranche of the PDSL-2 loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to the Philippines in September last year.

The first and second tranches amounting to 10 yen billion each were released last October 27, 2020 and January 5, 2021, respectively.

PDSL-2 aims to quickly disburse Japanese funding support for post-disaster response efforts in the event of a national calamity or health emergency.

Under the agreement, the disbursement of the standby loan to the Philippines will be made available through the declaration of a state of calamity; or declaration of a state of public health emergency.

In case of the current COVID-19 oandemic or any other public health emergency, the imposition of an ECQ or its equivalent in the National Capital Region (NCR) or in any other highly urbanized area in the country will trigger the disbursement of the loan.

Dominguez wrote JICA Philippines Chief Representative Eigo Azukizawa last May 11 to request for the disbursement of the 20-billion yen fund.

The declarations of ECQ and MECQ in NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal,collectively known as the “NCR Plus Bubble”, served as the triggers for disbursements under PDSL-2, Dominguez said.

“We hope to utilize the amount to be disbursed under PDSL-2 to support a portion of the total requirement for the implementation of the SAP (Social Amelioration Program) and other mechanisms necessary to properly implement COVID-19 response and recovery interventions in the country,” Dominguez said in his letter.

In announcing the 20 billion year disbursement, Azukizawa said “JICA will continue to support our partner countries like the Philippines in building back better from the COVID-19 crisis.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (