MANILA – South Korea has extended a Covid-19 Emergency Response Program loan to the Philippines worth US$100 million under the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) agreement between the two countries.
In the October 29, 2020 agreement signed, the Korean government was represented by the Export-Import Bank of Korea or Korea Exim Bank, while the Department of Finance represented the Philippine government,
The accord is the third signed by the two countries under the USD1-billion EDCF Framework Arrangement for the years 2017 through 2022. The first was for the New Cebu International Container Port Project worth US$172.64 million and the second was the Philippines-Korea Project Preparation Facility worth US$50 million.
The loan program aims to provide immediate financing or budgetary support to the recipient country for economic policies or implementation of sector development plans, and “further strengthens relations between Korea and the Philippines in the field of public health and safety in addition to diverse areas of cooperation over the past 70 years”.
Under the accord, the loan “may also take the form of an emergency relief fund for a pandemic situation like Covid-19.” Due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the EDCF Covid-19 Emergency Response Program Loan agreement between the two governments were cross-signed by mail,” it added.
The EDCF was established by the Korean Government on June 1, 1987 to help promote economic cooperation between Korea and developing countries.
Records show most EDCF projects in the Philippines have focused on infrastructure development, particularly roads and bridges, and the transportation sectors.