ADB loans Philippines $200 million for coronavirus cash subsidies

MANILA, Philippines - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Monday, April 27, approved an additional $200-million (P10-billion) loan to support the Philippine government's efforts to provide cash subsidies to the poor affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The latest funding is under the ADB's Social Protection Support Project-Second Additional Financing, which will contribute to the $726 million required to provide emergency subsidies for Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

There are 4.3 million poor households under 4Ps. The ADB has been supporting the program since 2010.

The latest approved loan is on top of the massive $1.5-billion loan from the ADB, which would be used to finance other projects and measures.

The ADB earlier provided the Philippines two grants totaling $8 million for food baskets, medical wear, and laboratory equipment.

The lender is also preparing an Expanded Social Assistance Project to support the government's medium-term 4Ps financing.

"This global pandemic, of a kind not seen in the last century, has disrupted the livelihoods of millions of Filipinos and could set back the very substantial gains the country has made in reducing poverty in recent years," said ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, authorizing the government to implement a COVID-19 emergency subsidy program that provides cash payments of P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months to 18 million low-income families nationwide. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

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

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