THE Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) wants to triple its P10-billion loan exposure for Negros and Panay provinces mainly to support more projects, especially infrastructure, in the two islands in the Visayas.
President and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo, who spoke at the DBP’s Business Roadshow at L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City Thursday, August 31, said it is the thrust of the development bank to support the “build, build, build” battlecry of the Duterte administration.
Borromeo said the P10-billion loan exposure for Negros and Panay covers various programs including healthcare, education, water sector, renewable energy (RE) projects, and various infrastructure developments for local government units (LGUs) like improvement of roads and buildings, among others.
For Negros, potential industry sectors are RE generation, healthcare, and public infrastructures such as farm-to-market roads and bridges positioned to make the lives of Negrenses more pleasant.
“Our deposit here is almost P30 billion thus, there is a lot of headroom for us to increase our credit assistance to various players in Negros and Panay,” Borromeo said, adding that “this is the portfolio of DBP as of June this year and we hope to triple the P10-billion credit assistance by 2018.”
“That is why we are encouraging various leaders in the industry and public sector to consider DBP as their partner in expanding their facilities and embarking on new projects,” she said.
During the roadshow, the DBP launched its Infrastructure Contractors Support (Icons) Program, a financing facility for local contractors also in line with the government’s “build, build, build” bid.
Borromeo said Icons will help in improving the capacity of Filipino contractors to complete their contracts and finance their own investments, including the acquisition of heavy equipment for use in construction projects.
Under the program, contractors duly licensed by the Philippine Contractors Accreditation Board are eligible to borrow. Contracts that can be financed under the program include social infrastructure for both residential and non-residential buildings, transport covering roads and bridge, water supply, wastewater, sanitation, and other utility infrastructure.
“This will result to building infrastructures faster by enhancing the working capital of the contractors engaged by various government agencies,” Borromeo said, adding that since the DBP is owned by the government “we can advise them on how to structure their projects in line with the national agenda.”
In his speech, DBP chairman Alberto Romulo said that as designated “infrastructure bank” of the country, the financial institution is in the core of the P8-trillion infrastructure development program of the national government.
Romulo, a former senator, said the DBP is holding business roadshows nationwide, talking to potential partners and investors with the vision of working for more infrastructure projects, including those in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City.
“With its robust financial performance, the DBP assures that it can continue to support the strategic development and infrastructure plans of the President,” he said, adding that “it is geared towards ensuring economic growth through poverty reduction.”
The roadshow in Bacolod was attended by other top officials and personnel of the DBP and industry stakeholders in both the government and private sectors in the province.