TOKYO — Japan pledged a low-interest loan of more than $250 million to the Philippines today, the first day of President Corazon Aquino's visit here, and her spokesman said there were indications of more aid to come.
The loan of 40.4 billion yen ($252.5 million) will finance construction of a thermal power plant in the Pacific archipelago.
Aquino left Manila at a time of rumors that disaffected military officers would attempt a coup against her 9-month-old government, but the armed forces commander sent a message this afternoon that the "peace and order situation is very secure and stable," spokesman Teodoro Benigno said.
Benigno said emphasis is being placed during the 53-year-old leader's four-day "good-will visit" on how Japan, an economic superpower, can help spur a Philippine economy crippled by $26 billion in foreign debt accumulated under former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone announced the loan for a coal-fired thermal power plant "to cope with a serious power shortage in (the main island of) Luzon expected in the future."