The proposed policy-based loan (PBL), co-financed with Asian Development Bank (ADB) under the COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Facility (Facility) will provide financing for the efforts of the Government of the Philippines to strengthen public health systems in the post-pandemic era and enhance the country’s preparedness and response to the unanticipated health crises.
The Program aims to support the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act implementation through a series of reforms that will broaden the coverage of healthcare services in population and increase financing for UHC to strengthen the preparation, prevention, and response to the next pandemic. It will also help expand primary healthcare facilities across the country and enhance the quantity and quality of second and third-tier health institutions and the capacity of healthcare workers. Furthermore, the Program will support the nationwide implementation of interoperability of health information systems, monitoring of UHC outputs and outcomes, and performance incentives for UHC-related activities of the local government units.
The Program will be co-financed with ADB as the lead co-financier, and the Program’s Environmental and Social (E&S) risks and impacts have been assessed in accordance with ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement (SPS, 2009) applicable to PBL. AIIB’s ESP was designed to apply to investment projects and has no provisions for its application to PBL operations. Therefore, as permitted by the decision of the Board of Directors set forth in the Decisions to Support the Facility, AIIB will apply the provisions of ADB’s SPS to this PBL in lieu of the ESP. This will provide for a harmonized approach to addressing the E&S risks and impacts of the Program.
In accordance with the ADB SPS 2009, potential direct and indirect environmental and involuntary resettlement impacts or impacts on Indigenous Peoples associated with policy actions to be supported by the program have been evaluated. The assessment confirms that none of the policy actions supported under the Project involves or promotes activities that involve land acquisition or involuntary resettlement, that may adversely impact Indigenous Peoples, or that may have adverse environmental impacts or lead to dismantling of environmental regulations.
The Program is classified as gender equity theme, as the Program outcome focuses on attaining equitable access to gender-responsive health services. Further, the output indicators are also gender-focused, which include maternal mortality, births attended by skilled personnel, set up of women and child protection units at DOH hospitals, and Human Resource for Health density. The program will thus improve women’s access to healthcare and promotion services through a series of interventions that will increase service offer and reduce fragmentation.
Republic of the Philippines
Mr. Mark D.Y.C. Joven
Undersecretary, Department of Finance
Department of Health, Philippines
Dr. Lilibeth C. David
Undersecretary, Department of Health