PHL seeking $600-M WB loan


THE PHILIPPINES is seeking a $600-million loan from the World Bank (WB) to support climate resilience efforts and promote green investment.

According to a document uploaded to the World Bank website, the loan aims to “support the Government of the Philippines’ reforms to accelerate the economic recovery and boost medium-term growth; and protect the environment and improve climate resilience.”

This would be the lender’s second sustainable recovery development policy loan to the Philippines.

In June, the World Bank approved the first sustainable recovery development policy loan worth $750 million.

“Climate change poses major risks to growth and development in the Philippines and will affect the country’s ability to meet its development goals,” the bank said.

“The country is exposed to frequent natural disasters and the impacts of climate change, which could cause severe economic and fiscal shocks and threaten the country’s socio-economic development,” it added.

The World Bank estimates that greenhouse gas emissions are expected to quadruple by 2050.

The proposed financing will support reforms that target increased investment in public services, renewable energy, infrastructure and green jobs, which will “accelerate economic recovery and boost long-term growth.”

It will also finance initiatives to reduce and recover more plastic waste, promote green transport through electric vehicles, encourage the use of green goods and services in procurement, and enhance the resilience of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. in order to better protect farmers from climate risk.

The World Bank board will take up the loan proposal on May 31, 2024.

Separately, the World Bank said it approved a $500-million loan to the Philippines for climate disaster management for schools, health institutions, and communities.

In a statement issued on Nov. 17, the bank said the Philippines’ disaster risk management and climate development policy loan with a catastrophe deferred drawdown option can be “quickly drawn upon when major natural disasters or health crises hit, minimizing the impact on the economy and long-term development.”

“The real benefit of this support is its ability to rapidly deliver crucial services — such as healthcare, shelter, and food — to those most impacted by disasters or climate events,” Ndiamé Diop, the World Bank’s Country Director for the Philippines, said.

The bank said fund releases may be triggered with a state of calamity declaration due to a natural disaster or public health emergency.

“The full amount of this financial support will be available for three years, giving the Philippine government immediate access to funds when they need it, enabling it to better manage the cost of shocks and protect the Philippine population,” it said.

“The financial support has a revolving feature, and the three-year drawdown period may be renewed up to four times, for a total maximum period of 15 years,” it added.

In 2022, the World Bank was the Philippines’ third-largest source of official development assistance (ODA). It accounted for 21.18% of the ODA portfolio, equivalent to $6.86 billion, through 29 projects and programs. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson


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