The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) signed two credit facility agreements to expand the financial services of the Philippines to vulnerable sectors and increase private sector participation in infrastructure projects.
In a statement, the DOF announce yesterday that the Philippines and France sealed €250 million, roughly P14 billion, credit facility agreements last June 9.
Signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicolas Galey, the first loan agreement is for the Inclusive Finance Development Program (IFDP) worth €100 million.
The second is the Expanding Private Participation in Infrastructure Program (EPPIP) worth €150 million
Both programs, co-financed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), aim to support the Philippine economy and strengthen its resilience in the post-COVID-19 period.
“The Philippine government is grateful to the AFD for co-financing with the ADB two programs supportive of President Duterte’s overriding goal of accelerating infrastructure development,” Dominguez said.
The €100 million policy-based loan for the first sub-program of the IFDP will help fund initiatives of the government to expand financial services across the country, especially among small entrepreneurs, farmers and fisherfolk, women and other vulnerable sectors.
The AFD loan for the Program will also help the government consolidate its institutional and regulatory environment, improve its financial infrastructure, and strengthen the capacities of financial service providers, supervisors and regulatory bodies.
In addition, AFD will also finance a €1.5 million Technical Assistance (TA) program to strengthen the capacities of financial inclusion stakeholders (i.e. supervisor, operators, clients).
The TA program, which will be carried out in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), aims to help accelerate the digital transformation of the Philippines’ financial institutions.
The €150 million loan for the EPPIP aims to heighten private sector participation in infrastructure financing in line with the government’s goal of fast-tracking the implementation of its “Build, Build, Build” program to jumpstart the economy and create more jobs.
By CHINO S. LEYCO
June 29, 2020