According to the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), the government has allocated around PHP 700 million ($ 14.5 million) in loans to beleaguered airlines in the country as part of its second disaster relief measure. coronavirus pandemic, to which President Rodrigo Duterte has signed. law of September 11.
The new measure, called Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), referring to a Filipino word derived from bayan (community), replaced Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 1).
In total, Bayanihan 2 has allocated PHP 9.5 billion (USD 196 million) for transportation recovery programs, of which PHP 2.6 billion (USD 54 million) will help severely affected businesses.
The air, land and sea sectors are each expected to receive around PHP 700 million, ACAP executive director Roberto Lim, also country director of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), told BusinessWorld magazine.
ACAP is made up of five carriers, Philippine Airlines and its subsidiary Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific Air and its subsidiary Cebgo, and Philippines AirAsia. Lim estimated that each airline would receive around PHP 140 million ($ 2.9 million) in loan assistance under this program.
The allocation is in addition to PHP 10 billion (USD 207 million) that government financial institutions, known locally as GFI, are expected to lend or invest in the aviation sector. However, since a GFI loan assessment process can take at least two months, Lim explained, airlines might not see this money until December or even 2021.