With 72% of total loan portfolio, Japan still PHL top ODA source


JAPAN has been the Philippines’s largest bilateral source of Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the past two decades, accounting for the bulk of the country’s total bilateral loans during the period, the Finance department reported on Tuesday.

The Philippines has so far contracted $14.139 billion in loans from Japan, equivalent to 72 percent of its total bilateral loan portfolio amounting to $19.656 billion from 2001 to 2020, according to a report from the Department of Finance’s International Finance Group (IFG).

Financial support from the European Union (EU) and China amounted to $3.049 billion and $1.185 billion, respectively, making up 16 percent and 6 percent of the total ODA loan portfolio from 2001 to the present.

Loans from South Korea amounting to $1.101 billion accounted for 5.6 percent while the rest came from the United States ($160 million) and the Middle East ($20 million).

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven, who heads the IFG, reported that Japan is the top ODA partner of the Philippines under President Duterte, accounting for $6.122 billion or 77 percent of the total $7.947-billion ODA commitments under the administration.

Joven said the ODA loans were contracted under the Duterte administration mostly to help bankroll the government’s massive infrastructure investments under the President’s signature “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) program, along with scaling up state funds for the huge financial requirements of the Covid-19 response and subsidies for families and sectors hit hard by the pandemic.

“The extensive bilateral borrowing during the [Duterte] administration has been instrumental in allowing the [government] to spend around 5 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] for infrastructure to spur economic growth, and in safeguarding development gains during the pandemic,” Joven said in his report.

In its nine-year term from January 2001 to June 2010, the Arroyo administration contracted a total of $6.067 billion worth of bilateral ODA loans, of which $3.2 billion or 52.7 percent came from Japan, Joven said.

Meanwhile, bilateral ODA loans of the administration of the late President Benigno Aquino III reached $5.641 billion, of which Japan provided 85 percent of the total or $4.817 billion.

On a year-by-year comparison during the 20-year period covering the three administrations, Joven said the Philippines contracted the least amount of bilateral ODA loans in 2003 totaling $95.726 million, while the greatest amount of bilateral ODA loans was in 2020 totaling $2.774 billion.

As of June 2020, data from National Economic and Development Authority showed that the country has a total $26.21-billion ODA grants and loans. The bulk of such ODA, $24.6 billion, comprised loans from various bilateral and multilateral organizations.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply