Phl’s debt-paying capacity not lost on WB-IBRD

At the height of the Covid-19 crisis, the Philippines managed to raise much-needed financing for its priority programs, a Cabinet official said on Thursday.

“The financing was needed for quick recovery and to address the scarring effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, disaster, rural development, social protection, nutrition, and the like,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

Diokno cited the World Bank Group report which revealed that the Philippines is now the WB’s seventh top borrower in 2022 with $1.58 billion taken out from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The IBRD, which is an integral part of the WB, advances loans for WB-member countries’ development programs.
“The fact that the Philippines was able to raise substantial resources at the height of the crises should be seen positively,” Diokno stressed.

“It shows the IBRD’s confidence in the Philippine government’s debt-paying capacity owing to its sound macroeconomic fundamentals,” he said.

Macroeconomic fundamentals

Funds advanced to the country by the IBRD this year included $600 million for promoting competitiveness and enhancing resilience in natural disasters; $300 million as second additional financing for the country’s COVID-19 response; and $179.1 million for the country’s multisectoral nutrition project.

India has emerged as the WB top borrower in fiscal year 2022 ending June 30, dethroning the Philippines, which is now ranked seventh with about $1.58 billion sourced from the IBRD.

In the previous fiscal year, the Philippines was the top client of the World Bank’s lending arm, which committed $3.07 billion for the country’s funding needs.

The World Bank’s 2022 annual report showed that India secured $3.99 billion, followed by Indonesia ($2.6 billion), Colombia ($2.13 billion), Morocco ($1.83 billion), Argentina ($1.8 billion), and Turkey ($1.59 billion).

Rounding out the top 10 are Ukraine ($1.57 billion), Angola ($1.31 billion), and South Africa ($1.23 billion).

IBRD finances its loans from its own equity and from money borrowed in the capital markets through the issuance of IBRD bonds to fund development projects in member countries, including the Philippines.

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