The World Bank on Friday, June 25, approved a $400-million (P1.9-billion) loan for the Philippines to make its financial sector more inclusive amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The First Financial Sector Reform Development Policy Financing loan is the first of two programs of the Washington-based multilateral lender, which seeks to strengthen the Philippines’ financial sector stability, expand financial inclusion for individuals and firms, and promote disaster risk finance that protects national budgets and businesses.
The latest loan is under the World Bank’s development policy financing, which provides quick-disbursing assistance to countries undertaking reforms.
“In addition to providing timely financial resources to support government financing needs, the financial sector reforms supported under this loan will help meet the immediate needs of individuals and micro, small, and medium enterprises under strain,” said Ndiamé Diop, World Bank country director for the Philippines.
The Philippine government contracted a total of $17 billion in financing from external sources in 2020, around $15 billion of which were sourced externally.
It is aiming to secure a total of $23.7 billion in 2021 to bridge the budget deficit and provide funds for priority projects amid the pandemic.
In particular, the Department of Finance aims to get $7.67 billion in loans and grants from multilateral institutions, $10.54 billion from bilateral partners, and $5.5 billion from the commercial markets. – Rappler.com
$1 = P48.52