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PH taps over $10-b worth of ODA loans so far

The country availed of $10.94 billion worth of official development assistance, or low-interest loans, from multilateral lenders and foreign agencies this year mainly to augment the government’s COVID-19 response.

Data from the National Economic and Development Authority showed ODA loans and grants (16 loans and 3 grants) amounting to $10.94 billion that as of Aug. 5, 19 were added to the country’s total ODA portfolio in support of the government’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its economic impact.

“These will enable us to provide more support to the people and will also help cover budget priorities in 2020 and 2021 to help address the health crisis,” said acting NEDA Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua.

Chua said the government needed to borrow more in 2020 to help fund emergency response, social protection programs and other related expenditures that would provide immediate relief to Filipinos affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

NEDA conducts the annual ODA portfolio review pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 8182, also known as the ODA Act of 1996, as amended by RA 8555.

NEDA said the ODA portfolio reached $21.62 billion as of end-2019, with Japan retaining its position as the top provider of such assistance last year.

Citing the recently-released ODA Portfolio Review 2019 report, NEDA said the portfolio consisted of 84 loans worth $19.98 billion (92 percent of the total portfolio) and 268 grants worth $1.64 billion (8 percent of the total portfolio). Julito G. Rada

Japan remained the top provider of ODA to the Philippines in 2019, with its loans and grants amounting to $8.51 billion, accounting for 39 percent of the active ODA portfolio.

The infrastructure development sector accounted for the largest share of the active ODA portfolio with 58 percent ($12.54 billion), followed by the social reform and community development sector with 18 percent ($3.81 billion).

Other sectors, such as governance and institutions development; agriculture, agrarian reform and natural resources; and industry, trade and tourism sectors account for the remaining 24 percent ($5.26 billion).

It said the overall disbursement level of the loans portfolio increased by 21 percent from $2.23 billion in 2018 to $2.71 billion in 2019, while the disbursement rate of the project loans portfolio increased to 64 percent in 2019 from 58 percent in 2018.

The availment rate of the project loan portfolio performed better with a 6-percentage-point increase from 67 percent in 2018 to 73 percent in 2019.

“The recent loan portfolio performance showed improvements for the past two years. For 2019, all indicators of absorptive capacity improved. We are grateful to our development partners for supporting us in our efforts to pursue much-needed reforms towards a higher growth trajectory and improving the quality of life of all Filipino people,” said Chua.

Topics: official development assistance , COVID-19 pandemic , National Economic and Development Authority , NEDA
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