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World Bank OK of $500-M loan seen in May

World Bank OK of $500-M loan seen in May

The $500-million loan being sought to further strengthen the Philippines’ resilience to natural disasters will finally be up for World Bank approval in May, but no longer with the catastrophic deferred drawdown option (CAT-DDO) unlike two previous credit lines obtained from the Washington-based multilateral lender.

Documents showed that the Philippines’ Third Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Development Policy Loan (DPL) would likely be approved by the World Bank on May 21, instead of the previous March schedule.

The development policy financing to be implemented by the Department of Finance in a single tranche operation will “strengthen the policy and institutional capacity of the government of the Philippines to reduce disaster risk, respond to and recover from natural disasters,” the World Bank said.

The World Bank said that “following a highly unusual series of disaster events in late 2019 and early 2020, the government requested a disbursing DPL to support the immediate response and rehabilitation of these events instead of an original request for a DRM DPL with CAT-DDO,” referring to the series of earthquakes that shook Mindanao island between October and December last year, typhoons “Tisoy” and “Ursula” that battered the country last December, and the eruption of Taal Volcano last month.

“Through this, the government will be able to strengthen institutional capacity to implement the reforms at the national and local levels,” it added. —BEN O. DE VERA

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