MANILA, PHILIPPINES (27 March 2020) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa and Philippine Finance Secretary and ADB Governor Carlos G. Dominguez today discussed how ADB can scale up its support for the government’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mr. Asakawa commended the Philippine government on its decisive action and putting in place strong and necessary social distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. He said ADB stands ready to provide further support.

“ADB is fully committed to supporting the Philippines’ efforts to overcome these unprecedented, extraordinary, and challenging times. We will be ready with a large assistance package within weeks to help the government carry out a response with maximum impact. We have already approved a $3 million grant to procure medical supplies. A new innovative facility will be launched within days to deliver food to the poor, with participation by the government and the private sector,” he said.  

A $3 million grant ADB announced on 14 March will fund a new, modern laboratory with diagnostic equipment, testing kits, and supplies at the Jose Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in San Fernando City in Pampanga. Once installed, the laboratory will be able to administer 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day.

Mr. Asakawa said ADB’s near-term support to the Philippines will draw from the $6.5 billion initial package he announced on 18 March. The package for the Philippines will include a large, quick-disbursing loan available for use immediately upon approval; support for cash transfers; and assistance to the health sector to rapidly establish additional emergency facilities and purchase much-needed equipment such as ventilators. In addition, ADB will deliver three quick-disbursing, policy-based loans totaling $1.1 billion to support ongoing government programs, and a $500 million disaster resilience finance program.

Mr. Asakawa also thanked Mr. Dominguez for his call for other ADB Governors to give ADB Management additional flexibility in designing fast-moving projects and programs to better meet the needs of developing member countries as they respond to the pandemic.

Visit ADB’s website to learn more about our ongoing response.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.

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