MANILA – The Philippines on Friday received JPY50 billion (USD469 million) from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the Covid-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan (CCRESL) to immediately help the country deal with the pandemic.
In announcing the disbursement, JICA Philippines Chief Representative Azukizawa Eigo said Tokyo stands in solidarity with the Filipinos in this time of “Bayanihan”, or cooperation in English.
“We admire the tireless effort and the leadership shown by the Philippine Government to tackle the unprecedented challenges posed by the spread of Covid-19. We will continue to explore new and innovative ways to deliver our development cooperation program in response to the Philippines’ immediate needs and consistent with our mandate to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and a better quality of life for all,” he said.
The CCRESL is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank as well as other development partners.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. and Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda exchanged diplomatic notes on the Japanese loan package last July 1, 2020, following the commitment made by Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu.
The package is consistent with Tokyo’s pledge to assist Manila to recover from the impacts of the pandemic and build public health and economic resilience against such emergencies.
According to JICA, the Philippines is the first recipient of its special facility “Emergency Support Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) Loan for Covid-19” and is the first partner country to disburse the fund.
“The trusted partnership between the two countries allowed both governments to respond to the crisis in a ‘fast and sure’ manner,” it said.
In addition to the CCRESL, JICA continues to assist the government in its effort to boost the economy by providing jobs to many Filipinos through new and ongoing infrastructure projects in support of the Build, Build, Build program.
JICA, the world’s largest bilateral aid organization, is the Philippines’ leading ODA partner. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA – northboundasia.com