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World Bank approves $900 million in loans for PH pandemic response

The World Bank on Thursday, December 17, approved two loans amounting to $900 million (around P43.2 billion) for the Philippines' pandemic response and resilience-building for natural disasters.

The $600 million (P28.8 billion) under the Promoting Competitiveness and Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters Development Policy Loan will support "reforms to hasten the adoption of digital technologies, promote greater competition, and reduce the costs of doing business."

The funds would be for expanding digital infrastructure in the telecommunications sector, implementation of the national ID program, as well as indemnity insurance for public assets.

Meanwhile, the $300 million (P14.4 billion) under the KALAHI-CIDSS National Community Driven Development Program aims to finance "community-identified" programs that would improve basic social services and the pandemic response.

Projects include COVID-19 isolation facilities, water and sanitation structures, and other local basic facilities.

The project would be implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

Last September, the multilateral lender loaned the Philippines $600 million to help cushion the pandemic's impact on poor households. – 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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