THE World Bank said it adjusted the terms for loans issued as part of the Philippine COVID-19 Emergency Response project, including extending closing dates.
In a letter to Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno and uploaded on the World Bank website, the bank said it extended the closing date for the project’s original and first additional financing loan agreement to Dec. 29, 2024.
It also canceled a $14.82-million additional loan (Loan No. 9220-PH) as well as $300 million from the second additional financing agreement (Loan No. 9328-PH).
The respective amounts were canceled as of Sept. 15.
The closing date for the second additional financing loan agreement was also amended to Oct. 31, 2023.
The amendments to the loan agreement were made in response to a request to restructure the project, according to the document.
The COVID-19 Emergency Response project aims to “strengthen the Philippines’ capacity to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness.”
The project finances the procurement of medical supplies and equipment; strengthens laboratory capacity; and improves emergency response plans, among others.
The project has commitment funds worth $900 million. It was approved in April 2020.
The Philippines currently has a total of 18 ongoing loans with the World Bank worth $5.701 billion.
Last year, the bank was the country’s third-largest source of official development assistance (ODA). It accounted for 21.18% of the ODA portfolio, equivalent to $6.86 billion across 29 projects and programs. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson