The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has cleared a $600-million policy-based loan this Friday, 19 November, which is to aid the Philippines in providing quality health services.
MANILA, Philippines — Apart from clearing a $600-million loan for Philippine health care, the ADB will also “administer a $2-million technical assistance grant” from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction in order to support the local government units (LGUs) in their reforms in health policy.
The ADB has been pushing for its “Build Universal Health Care Program”, a program with a goal to support the Philippine government in improving both the financing and administering of health services for its people.
The program is part of the ADB’s 2018-2023 Country Partnership Strategy for the Philippines, which is set on “increasing social investments in Filipinos from lower socioeconomic groups”. The bank added that the loan is in line with this program.
ADB’s Director of Human and Social Development for Southeast Asia, Ayako Inagaki, stated that the program “seeks to boost the government’s ability to achieve its Universal Health Care (UHC) goals and provide timely and equitable health care services, especially for the poor and marginalized across the country”, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has “highlighted existing constraints in the country’s health care service delivery, which the government sought to address in its pandemic health response.”
The UHC Act was enacted in the Philippines last February 2019, in order to make sure that all Filipinos can have “equitable access to quality health services” while avoiding steep health expenses. This act is inclusive of reforms that span over several years. Part of this reform is the inclusion of all Filipinos in its National Health Insurance Program.
The ADB currently has efforts against extreme poverty within Asia, and it continues to assist its partners and member countries with many of their offerings, such as technical assistance, equity investments, loan provisions, and grants. (RF/The MiNT)