ELDERLY VACCINEE. A wheelchair-bound Eligio Reyes, 69, of Barangay Salawag, is assisted by his son after receiving a second dose of Covid-19 vaccine shot at the Ugnayang La Salle Gymnasium in Dasmariñas City, Cavite on Thursday (Feb. 17, 2022). The national government has been encouraging local government units to consider house-to-house vaccination drives to inoculate senior citizens and persons with comorbidities who are unable to go to vaccination sites.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 17 (Mabuhay) –The Philippine government is eyeing to secure additional loan financing from the Japanese government to bankroll its ongoing COVID-19 vaccination program, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Wednesday.

During the 12th Philippines-Japan high-level joint committee on infrastructure development and economic cooperation meeting, the two countries discussed proposed additional financing support of JP¥30 billion (roughly about P13 billion) from Japan under the 2nd COVID-19 Crisis Response Support Loan (CCRESL 2) “to help cover the funding for the Philippines’ ongoing national vaccination program,” the DOF said in a statement.

The proposed loan financing will follow the JP¥50-billion (roughly P23 billion) loan signed by the Philippines and Japan in July 2020 to support the government’s COVID-19 response and economic relief efforts.

During the high-level meeting, conducted virtually, Special Advisor to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan Mori Masafumi reported that Japan’s public and private financial contributions to the Philippines since January 2017 have amounted to JP¥1.3 trillion, exceeding the Asian country’s JP¥1-trillion commitment.

The Philippines and Japan reaffirmed their economic partnership, according to the DOF.

“I’d like to emphasize that the government of Japan’s commitment to the bilateral cooperation project remains unchanged under the Kishida Cabinet,” Mori said.

For his part, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the past six years of development cooperation between the Philippines and Japan under the high-level committee “have been fruitful despite the challenges and inevitable delays brought by the pandemic and unforeseen natural disasters.”

“Between the first Joint Committee Meeting in 2017 and today, much has been started, achieved, and will be further continued,” Dominguez said. (MNS)

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