PH to pay back ₱1.3T COVID-19 response loans in 40 years

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 18) — The Philippines is expected to pay back ₱1.3 trillion in foreign loans used for its COVID-19 pandemic response in 40 years, the Department of Finance (DOF) said over the weekend.

“The loans will have to be repaid over a period of 40 years starting 2020. This will require a fiscal consolidation program and improved revenue collection,” read the DOF’s recent economic bulletin.

The country has borrowed ₱1.3 trillion from 2020 to Jan. 14, 2022, the DOF said. The breakdown is as follows:

- ₱559.08 billion from Republic of the Philippines Bonds

- ₱303.37 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

- ₱291.25 billion from the World Bank

- ₱66.01 billion from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

- ₱47.56 billion from the Japan International Cooperation Agency

- ₱96 billion from the Agence Française de Développement

- ₱10.15 billion from the Export-Import Bank of Korea

The DOF also reported ₱2.7 billion in grants so far: ₱1.1 billion from the World Bank-European Union, ₱1.3 billion from the Japanese government, and ₱406.2 million from the ADB.

The Philippines also received 76.4 million donated vaccine doses. Around 85.5% of the doses came from the COVAX facility while 14.5% came from bilateral donations, the DOF said.

“The loans and grants raised from bond auctions and grants helped the country in fighting the COVID-19 virus and were instrumental in restoring economic growth in 2021,” the bulletin added.

The Philippine economy grew by 5.7% last year, slightly above the economic team’s adjusted 5-5.5% target. This succeeded the record 9.5% plunge recorded in 2020.