C: David Milmont – Unsplash

Japan is to loan around 50 billion yen (24 billion Philippine pesos) to the central government of the Philippines in Manila to facilitate the South East Asian nation’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and a string of recent natural disasters.

Speaking Tuesday in the Philippine capital, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. alongside Japanese Ambassador, Koji Haneda, formalized the ‘Post Disaster Stand-by Loan (PDSL) Phase 2’; one of the largest such recovery loans Tokyo has ever offered developing nations.

“This 50B-yen fund is the most significant JP (Japanese) assistance to PH (the Philippines) since the onset of COVID-19, along with the 50B yen loan in July,” the Japan’s ambassador said on Twitter.

In response, Mr Locsin said – also on Twitter –  “Post-disaster standby credit, this is the second one with the same give-away terms: 0.01 percent, 30-year repayment, 10-year grace period. That’s more than friendship that’s plain pure partnership. Japan has our back.”

It is understood the loan is the second such package offered by Tokyo to Manila. Essentially a COVID-19 recovery package in current form, the first loan, seven years ago in 2013, was to help the country in the immediate aftermath of the devastating Super Typhoon Yolanda that killed around 6,300 people and remains one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.

Japan’s embassy in Manila also announced that the repayment period for the loan is set at 30 years following an initial grace period of 10 years, with interest levels fixed at a nominal 0.01%.

The embassy also added “Japan will continue to be responsive to the needs of the Philippines in its bid to fight the COVID-19 crisis, beef up disaster risk management efforts and achieve a faster economic recovery.”

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