DBP Sets Aside P5.2 Billion for Mindanao Projects

Mar. 30, 2007

By Germelina Lacorte

DAVAO CITY—The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has set aside 5.2 billion pesos this year to finance both pipeline and newly proposed projects in Mindanao, an official of the bank said.

Rey Magno Teves, DBP director, said the bank has the funds to finance critical infrastructures that he hoped would spur economic activities in Mindanao.

Last week, Teves announced the upcoming Mindanao leg of a DBP roadshow scheduled in Davao City next month to showcase the banks available loan portfolio. He said that the government-owned bank is now inviting business proposals from the public and the private sector to take advantage of its available loan portfolio to finance critical development projects in Mindanao.

The bank is very liquid, we have the money, Teves said. The funds set aside for Mindanao this year is 5.2 billion pesos but it can still go up to 7 billion pesos if Mindanao has enough absorptive capacity.”

Of the banks total 79.49-billion-peso loan portfolio nationwide, development loans make up the biggest chunk at 66.14 billion pesos, according to a statement made by DBP president Reynaldo David. The bank has mobilized some 144 billion pesos in Official Development Assistance (ODA) funds since 1989 to finance priority development programs of the government.

The DBP roadshow has kicked off in the Visayas and in Zamboanga and will soon open in Cagayan de Oro and Davao in early April to showcase the various development projects undertaken by DBP. It is also meant to debunk claims that the bank has neglected its development role and has gone commercial. We want to inform the public that DBP has been addressing development concerns of the country, Teves said.

Among the bank’s available financing schemes are industrial projects, micro, small and medium enterprises, infrastructure and logistics. In Zamboanga, for instance, the bank has financed the purchase of laboratory and other hospital facilities; while under its logistics program, it finances cold chain facilities for the tuna industry.

We even finance the purchase of ships, said Teves, referring to governments move encouraging shipping lines to be governments partner in opening critical roll-on roll-off (RORO) routes linking the entire country. In a recent announcement, DBP president Reynaldo David said that the DBP will be more liberal with its credit terms to make its financing more accessible to ship owners who can borrow at an annual interest rate of seven percent in the first two years, with succeeding rates to be negotiated.

Bringing goods to Manila is more expensive than moving them to Singapore or China, Teves told reporters last week. The government, he said, plans to put up 20 missionary RORO routes this year. At least 49 RORO facilities are needed to link the entire country.

The RORO system, Teves said, will help spur economic growth by improving interisland shipping. He said that there are also plans to upgrade the Maharlika Highway from Cagayan de Oro, Butuan to Davao, which is part of the whole concept of linking the whole country by land and by sea. (Germelina Lacorte/davaotoday.com)

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