ADB to lend $500m stimulus to Philippines

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Monday it had approved a loan of 500 million dollars for the Philippines for short-term stimulus under a new anti-economic crisis facility.

This will be the first loan under the ADB's Countercyclical Support Facility (CSF) established in June to help developing members boost spending to counter the effects of the global downturn, the bank said in a statement.

The loan will help close Manila's budget deficit for this year and support the government's 2009 expenditure programmes.

The Philippines will be given a five-year repayment term, with a three-year grace period, said the statement from the Manila-based ADB.

Manila this month announced its budget deficit had rocketed 462.5 percent year-on-year to 188 billion pesos (3.89 billion dollars) in the first seven months of 2009 due partly to increased spending to stimulate the economy.

To be eligible for money from the CSF, Asian countries must be adversely affected by the global economic crisis but demonstrate sound macroeconomic policies and have a special programme in place.

Other countries that are seeking access to the CSF funds, which total three billion dollars, are Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the ADB said.