Philippines secures P23.5-billion Japan loan vs coronavirus

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines secured a loan from Japan worth 50 billion yen or around P23.5 billion for the country's coronavirus response.

The Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan signed on Wednesday, July 1, was processed in less than a month and is the quickest ever under Japan's official development assistance financing package.

The loan is payable in 15 years, inclusive of a 4-year grace period, and has a fixed interest rate of just 0.01% per annum.

The amount would be used from 2020 to 2021 by the Department of Health and the National Economic and Development Authority. 

It will also help cover budget expenditures already made or about to be made by the government, which means that the loan can be "retroactively utilized" for pandemic-related initiatives undertaken since April 2020. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Duterte's new COVID-19 loans: Need we worry?)

"We are glad that we are the first donor-country to be able to offer such a loan to the Philippines. The strong ties between Japan and the Philippines, particularly on the economic front, have been tried and true for many decades," Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.