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4月26日のまにら新聞から

Dominguez: Multilateral banks cooperation gave PHL gov’t‘seal of good housekeeping’ on COVID-19 vaccine procurement

[ 775 words|2022.4.26|英字 (English) ]

WASHINGTON DC—Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has said the trilateral cooperation among the world’s major multilateral development banks (MDBs) in jointly providing funding support for the Philippine government’s COVID-19 national inoculation program gave this effort the “seal of good housekeeping,” which assured Filipinos the procurement of the vaccine doses were legal and aboveboard.

Dominguez thanked the World Bank Group (WBG), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for entering into a co-financing arrangement for the Philippines’ COVID-19 vaccination program, which also provided the government the budgetary support it needed at a time when revenue collections were down as a result of the pandemic-induced lockdowns or community quarantines.

On behalf of the Philippine Government, Dominguez personally thanked WBG Regional Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific Manuela Ferro and other key officials of the institution for the WBG’s support of the Duterte administration’s reform agenda and pandemic response efforts, during a recent meeting here on the sidelines of the 2022 International Monetary Fund (IMF)-WBG Spring Meetings.

Dominguez again expressed the Philippines’ deep appreciation for the assistance extended by the WBG in a separate meeting with the Bank’s Vice President and Managing Director for Operations Axel Van Trotsenburg.

Trotsenburg, in turn, thanked Dominguez for his “great leadership and cooperation,” which ensured that the WBG was able to play a useful and effective role in extending its support to the Philippines.

The WBG, in particular, has signed 22 loan agreements with the Philippines with the Duterte administration, amounting to $7.53 billion.

Fifteen of these 22 agreements were for an aggregate amount of $6.15 billion and that were utilized for the government’s COVID-19 response program.

The trilateral collaboration among the three MDBs in supporting the Philippines’ COVID-19 response was an offshoot of a proposal broached by Dominguez in 2017 for multilateral institutions to coordinate with each other in eliminating overlapping functions, reducing costs, and being more effective and responsive in providing official development assistance (ODA) to member-countries.

Dominguez said this trilateral cooperation could be replicated to mobilize financing for other development projects, particularly the climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives by emerging economies like the Philippines.

This would be a more feasible and accessible option rather than subjecting countries to the tedious processes imposed by various organizations offering climate financing, he added.

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven pointed out during the meeting that the main institutions for climate finance such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund are not working together with the MDBs, which means lost potentials in reaching more countries that need assistance in funding their climate projects.

Trotsenburg said during his meeting with Dominguez that global solidarity is the key to addressing the widening inequalities between rich and low-income countries that were further triggered by the pandemic.

Ferro, for her part, assured Dominguez during their meeting that the WBG will continue its assistance to the Philippines’ economic recovery in the next administration.

She said the partnership between the WBG and the Philippines has helped the country accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination program, which, in turn, led to the reopening of the economy and the return to face-to-face classes in many schools.

Dominguez agreed with Ferro that the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict would bring headwinds to the economic recovery of the Philippines and the rest of the world as prices of crude oil and food continue to rise.

He said the Philippines has passed three economic liberalization laws—the amendatory measures to the Foreign Investments Act (FIA), Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), and Public Service Act (PSA) to further open the country to foreign investors and bring in the capital needed to create more jobs and further invigorate the economy amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said these liberalization measures, along with the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Law that reformed the fiscal incentives system, will fuel the growth of the services sector in the Philippines.

Aside from taking part in the IMF-WBG Spring Meetings, Dominguez also attended as an observer the Group of 20 (G-20) Session of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on the invitation of Indonesia, the current G-20 president.

The members of the G-20 are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.

Under the presidency of Indonesia, the G-20 will focus on three main pillars, namely: Global Health Architecture, Sustainable Energy Transition, and Digital Transformation. DOF