The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved another $500-million loan for the Philippines, to be used for disasters and COVID-19 response.
The ADB on Thursday, September 10, approved the Disaster Resilience Improvement Program, which would give the Philippines “quick access to emergency financing in the event of disasters triggered by natural hazards or public health emergencies that result in a declaration of a state of calamity.”
The program is supporting pending legislation in Congress to merge the functions of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Office of Civil Defense under the proposed Department of Disaster Resilience.
It also aims to support climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction programs in local government units.
“It will support a pilot disaster insurance scheme, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, in several cities across the country to bolster their fiscal resilience. It also aims to provide a predictable, timely source of financing for post-disaster response,” the ADB said.
Disasters cost the Philippines up to 1% of its gross domestic product every year, including P43.5 billion caused by earthquakes and P113 billion from tropical cyclones, the ADB said.
Meanwhile, the ADB has provided at least $1.8 billion in loans and grants for the country’s urgent COVID-19 financing needs. – Rappler.com