Philippines, South Korea sign $ 100 million loan deal to boost government immunization program GMA News Online

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The Philippines and South Korea signed a $ 100 million loan agreement to help boost the COVID-19 vaccination program.

The loan agreement was signed on Friday by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, on behalf of the Philippines, and the country’s chief representative Jaejeong Moon, representing the Export-Import Bank of Korea-Development Cooperation Fund. economic (KEXIM-EDCF).

The agreement was for the second phase of the loan program for the COVID-19 Emergency Response Program – Immunization Program (PLCERP II).

“This financial assistance from Korea will go a long way in helping the Duterte administration to relaunch its mass vaccination program against COVID-19, which is crucial for the strong rebound of our national economy by 2022,” said Dominguez. .

“With this agreement, Korea is able to make a further contribution to the tireless efforts of the Philippine government to fight the pandemic and ultimately achieve rapid economic recovery,” added the South Korean ambassador to the Philippines, Kim Inchul.

According to the International Finance Group of the Ministry of Finance (DOF-IFG), the PLCERP II will help “ensure financial sustainability and close the budget gap” in the implementation of the national COVID-19 immunization program of the Ministry of Finance. Health (DOH).

DOF-IFG said the loan is designed to support the implementation, monitoring and management of the current vaccination campaign.

In October last year, South Korea provided a $ 100 million loan to the government for the first phase of the PLCERP, which aimed to put in place systematic policy measures to address the Philippines’ public health challenges caused by COVID-19.

South Korea extended the loan for PLCERP II in recognition of the achievements and plans of the Philippines under the first phase of the loan program, which focused on seven policy actions, including: establishing a national policy or master plan related to COVID-19 vaccination; assign roles to key committees and / or organizations to speed up the vaccine procurement and administration process; profile the eligible population and determine priority groups; and secure COVID-19 vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

These political actions for which the Philippine government has also been recognized also include the establishment of an effective mechanism for the management of vaccine stocks and logistics; allocate a budget for the purchase of vaccines; and put guidelines in place for observing any adverse reactions and providing treatment and compensation for vaccines, the DOF-IFG said.

The loan is repayable over 30 years, with a 10-year grace period and a fixed interest rate of 1.5%.

In addition to providing financial support for the Philippines’ response to COVID-19, South Korea has also provided a loan of $ 50 million to the Philippines-Korea Project Preparation Fund (PK-PPF) to address operational gaps. in the implementation of projects under the signature of President Rodrigo Duterte. infrastructure development program Build, Build, Build.

South Korea also shared its expertise and assistance in setting up an electronic invoicing system within the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to improve tax administration.

The East Asian country has already committed official development assistance (ODA) loans to the Philippines amounting to $ 1.25 billion from 2020.

Through KEXIM-EDCF, Korea intends to expand aid to the Philippines up to $ 3 billion over the next five years, according to the DOF. – VBL, GMA News


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