ADB approves 200 mln USD loan to support Philippines' COVID-19 fight hinh anh 1A commuter's temperature is examined at a checkpoint in Manila, the Philippines, on April 24 (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on April 27 approved a 200 million USD loan to support the Philippine government's effort to provide emergency cash subsidies to vulnerable households amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

ADB Vice President Ahmed Saeed said the pandemic has disrupted the livelihoods of millions of Philippine people and could set back the very substantial gains the country has made in reducing poverty in recent years.

The new loan will support the government's emergency subsidy programme, which was designed to help vulnerable households get through this very difficult period and avoid falling into poverty, he added.

On March 24, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the "Bayanihan to Heal as One Act", or Republic Act No. 11469, authorising the government to implement a COVID-19 emergency subsidy programme that provides cash payments of 5,000 pesos to 8,000 pesos (roughly 100 to 158 USD) per month for two months to 18 million low-income families nationwide.

The large programme includes 4.3 million poor households covered under the country's conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme known as Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Programme (4Ps). ADB has been supporting the 4Ps CCT program since 2010.

The ADB said its 200 million USD loan will contribute to the 726 million USD required to provide emergency subsidies to 4Ps households in April and May 2020.

It added that the loan is part of the bank's comprehensive support to the Philippines to mitigate the damaging effects of the pandemic on the economy and well-being of the Philippine people./.