Government Plans To Borrow $5.6 Billion From ADB, World Bank For COVID-19 Response
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III announced the government plans to borrow $5.6 billion dollars from the Asian Development Bank and World Bank to further address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are coming up with a program to continuously borrow money to support the Philippine economy and our fight against COVID,” Dominguez said during a briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte and fellow cabinet members that aired Thursday midnight, April 9, 2020.
“We're confident that we have the financial capability to bridge this problem that COVID has brought us,” he added.
According to the Secretary, their agency is working on its recovery or bounce back program. “We will be spending more in order to save the people and make sure that they have food on the table during this time,” he said.
“We have the money, although we have to realize na hindi naman endless ‘yung pera na ito kaya kailangan we have to spend it correctly hindi ‘yung wasteful expenditures,” Dominguez added.
The program’s primary focus will be to “spend for the poorest families and then to help the small-medium enterprises (SMEs) and to provide support for the companies that are supported by their banks,” according to Dominguez.
However, the Secretary also admitted the pandemic has hit the Philippine economy “in a very hard way.” The agency is already predicting a GDP growth of 0 or negative 1 percent. In addition, the agency projects that 1.2 million workers will temporarily be unemployed in the wake of the pandemic.