China-led AIIB approves $750-million loan for PH’s virus response

Ralf Rivas

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China-led AIIB approves $750-million loan for PH’s virus response

The loan from the Beijing-based multilateral lender will be used to increase the Philippines' testing capacity and provide conditional cash transfers to poor households

MANILA, Philippines – Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) approved a $750-million (P37.9-billion) loan to the Philippines to stave off the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

AIIB said the loan is co-financed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and would be used to increase the Philippines’ testing capacity, boost vulnerable sectors, and provide conditional cash transfers to poor households. (READ: ADB president: We’re not rivals with China’s AIIB)

AIIB added that at least one million micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, of which 58% are registered to women, will benefit from wage subsidies.

“The focus of our efforts is to help the government tackle the immediate health and economic challenges posed by the pandemic. AIIB’s support will contribute to building economic resilience and ensuring quick recovery,” said AIIB vice president for investment operations DJ Pandian.

AIIB said that while it does not have a regular instrument for policy-based financing, it is extending such financing on an exceptional basis under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility to support its members through projects co-financed with the World Bank or the ADB. (READ: Philippine Senate ratifies treaty to join China-led AIIB)

AIIB’s COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility was created as part of the coordinated international response to counter the pandemic. It has an initial size of $5 billion to $10 billion. –

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Ralf Rivas

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