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Philippines signs P1.34B “debt-for-nature” deal with US

The Department of Finance (DOF) stated that the Philippines signed a P1.34 billion “debt-of-nature” agreement with the United States of America.


The agreement was signed on July 18 by Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima and US Ambassador Harry K. Thomas, Jr.


An estimated P1.34 billion ($31.8 million) in Philippine debt will be transformed into a tropical forest conversion fund under a “Debt for Nature” deal inked by the Philippines and United States.


According to the “Debt for Nature Deal”, the P1.34 billion debt owed by the Philippines to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will be converted into a Tropical Forest Conservation Fund.


The Funds owed will be used to provide grants to conserve, maintain, and restore key tropical forests in the country.


Accordingly, the DOF said forests in Sierra Madre, Samar and Leyte, Palawan Islands and Bukidnon/Misamis areas should be highlighted and prioritized.


In addition, part of the funds will also be used for climate change mitigation efforts.


The US Embassy said the converted fund will then be used to help the Philippines preserve its lush terrestrial biodiversity and subsidize to local and international initiatives to alleviate global warming.

Corabelle is the Bayanihan's Phillippine News Correspondent.