MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has secured $650 million (around P32.6 billion) from multilateral lenders to boost its ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program.
On Wednesday, December 22, the World Bank approved a $300-million loan under the Philippines COVID-19 Emergency Response Project-Additional Financing 2 (PCERP-AF2).
It will cover procurement and delivery of doses to individuals aged 12-17, additional doses for people with comorbidities or are immunocompromised, as well as booster doses for health workers and the wider population.
Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for the Philippines said the funding is expected to provide approximately 27 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and also finance primary doses for children under 12 in support of the country’s efforts to safely reopen schools.
The funding builds on the World Bank’s earlier funding of $100 million approved last April 2020, as well as the $500 million loan approved last March 2021. (READ: Philippines shortens gap between COVID-19 booster shot and last dose)
Last December 13, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $250 million loan to secure an additional 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, which are for eligible children and booster shots for adults.
The loan is under the Second Health System Enhancement to Address and Limit COVID-19 under the Asia Pacific Vaccine Access Facility (HEAL2) Additional Financing and will be co-financed by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
The latest funding builds on ADB’s previous loan support, which has reached around $3 billion.
The Philippines and South Korea signed a $100-million loan for the COVID-19 vaccination program.
The loan agreement is under South Korea’s second phase of the Program Loan for COVID-19 Emergency Response Program-Vaccination Program (PLCERP II).
In October of last year, South Korea extended a US$100-million loan to the government for the first phase of the PLCERP, “which aimed to build systematic policy measures to respond to the Philippines’ public health challenges caused by COVID-19.”
PLCERP II is payable in 30 years, inclusive of a 10-year grace period and with a fixed interest rate of 1.5%.
“This financial assistance from Korea will go a long way in helping the Duterte administration rev up its mass vaccination program against COVID-19 that is crucial to the strong rebound by our domestic economy come 2022,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said. – Rappler.com
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