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DBP History

DBP’s history can be traced back during the Commonwealth when the early infrastructure for development financing was laid by the National Government.

1935 – The National Loan and Investment Board (NLIB) was created to coordinate and manage government trust funds such as the Postal Savings Fund and the Teacher’s Retirement Fund.

1939 – The Agricultural and Industrial Bank (AIB), which absorbed the functions of the NLIB, was created and started to harness government resources until the outbreak of war.

1946 – The government created the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation (RFC) under R.A. No. 85 which absorbed the assets and took over the functions of the AIB. The RFC provided credit facilities for the development of agriculture, commerce and industry and the reconstruction of properties damaged by the war.

1958 – The RFC was reorganized into the Development Bank of the Philippines. The change in corporate name marked the shift from rehabilitation to broader activities. With an initial capital of P500 million subscribed by the government, the DBP expanded its facilities and operations to accelerate national development efforts. This forward thrust saw the establishment of a network of branches throughout the country. The DBP tapped both foreign and local fund sources to complement its capital resources. Credits were obtained directly from international financial institutions.

1963 – Congress broadened DBP’s powers by increasing its capitalization to P2-billion and borrowing capacity to 10 times its paid-in capital and surplus. The lion’s share of funding goes to industries in need of support.

1966 – DBP marked its debut as an investment bank, aiming to establish a broad and prosperous securities market.

1967 – DBP raised its agricultural lending by 80 percent to ensure food security, prioritizing rice and corn production. It likewise constructed a 120-hectare Greater Manila Food Market in Fort Bonifacio.

1969 – Construction of the DBP Head Office Building began, and was completed in 1971. DBP-funded projects continued to drive growth in several industries, accounting for 94 percent of the nation’s textile outputs, 90 percent of cement, 88 percent of steel, and 80 percent of all its pulp-mill capacity.

1970 – The devaluation of the peso caught DBP at a vulnerable time given its issuance of guarantees for dollar-denominated debts incurred by clients. With debts coming due, the Bank cut down domestic lending operations and suspended almost all new guarantees. Nevertheless, DBP projects still created 10,465 new jobs.

1971 – In response to the economic slowdown, DBP shifted its focus to countryside development. Agricultural lending was directed toward food production, and industrial lending shifted focus to industries that generated more employment and utilized raw materials and agricultural products.

1973 – DBP’s capitalization was increased from P2-billion to P3-billion through Presidential Decree 195. The Bank joined five other agencies in organizing the Development Academy of the Philippines. Agriculture remaineds a top priority for DBP.

1977 – DBP celebrated its 30th anniversary and was recognized as Southeast Asia’s largest development bank, with P16.7-billion in assets. In 30 years, the Bank had lent out P11.9-billion to 419,533 borrowers. In partnership with the National Housing Authority, DBP also established a lending program for small businesses and homeowners.

1978 – DBP launched its “Study Now, Pay Later” program, benefitting students pursuing agriculture, engineering, economics, and other courses crucial to national development.

1979 – DBP spent P1.304-billion for the refinancing of large industrial accounts temporarily distressed by the Second Oil Shock. These industries included shipping, mining, cement, hotels, and telecommunications.

1980 – Amid the oil crises, DBP provided support to energy and transport services by supporting the search and development of alternative energy sources and the air-conditioned “Love Buses” in Metro Manila.

1981 – DBP served as one of the primary conduits of funds in the National Government’s efforts to bail out many troubled corporations. Lending activities are suspended.

1984 – Affected by worldwide economic difficulties, a large number of DBP-financed projects failed to make payments and the acceptance of new loans remained suspended. DBP suffered a loss of P1.2-billion, a first in its 38-year history.

1986 – Former President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No. 81 which provided for the 1986 Revised Charter that called for a clean-up of DBP’s books, staff reorganization, and infusion of initial operating budget. The rehabilitation program restored the Bank’s financial viability and DBP resumed lending operations. With the transfer of non-performing assets together with liabilities on June 30, 1986 to the National Government, DBP implemented an institutional strengthening program covering a revision of the credit process and a training program for the implementation of new lending thrusts. The Bank reopened its lending windows for housing, agriculture, and small and medium scale industries.

1988 – DBP resumed full development banking operations. The Bank was accredited as a participating financial institution under the Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund.

1992 – DBP was recognized as one of the World’s Top Ten Banks by The Banker. The Bank continued to prioritize implementation of high-impact projects all over the country.

1994 – DBP ranked 11th in terms of overall leadership among top Philippine companies in the survey undertaken by the Far Eastern Economic Review in association with Citibank.

1995 – DBP was granted an expanded banking license and attained universal banking status.

1997 – DBP floated a 20 Billion Asian Yen Bond (US$169-million), the first of its kind in the region. The Bank marked its 50th year by turning over a One Billion Peso dividend check, representing 50% of its net income, and one of the biggest contributions to the National Government among government-owned-and-controlled corporations.

1998 – Former President Fidel V. Ramos signed Republic Act 8523 amending DBP’s 1986 Charter. Among the major provisions incorporated in the new DBP Charter were the increase of authorized capital stock from P5-billion to P35-billion, and the creation of the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.

1999 – DBP launched the LGU-Urban Water and Sanitation Project and allotted P6-billion to the housing sector to help alleviate poverty.

2002 – The Bank became the first Philippine bank to be ISO 14001-certified for its successful establishment and implementation of an Environmental Management System.

2003 – The Asian Banker ranked DBP as the Strongest Bank in the Philippines for its financial and operational parameters, asset quality, and improvements in profits and assets from previous years. The Bank was also named 6th Best Employer in the country in a study conducted by Hewitt Associates, the Management Association of the Philippines, and BusinessWorld.

2005 – The Bank’s loan portfolio reached an all-time high of P79.3-billion. Out of the country’s top 10 banks, DBP ranked 7th in terms of assets and 4th in terms of net income performance.

2007 – DBP was conferred an Outstanding Corporate Governance award by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific.

2008 – DBP stepped up its Overseas Filipino Workers Assistance Program, conducting a series of road shows in Hong Kong to educate migrant workers.

2010 – DBP’s Quality Management System received ISO 9001:2008 certification for remittance operations, cash management, and retail lending. The DBP Institute was also inaugurated in Baguio City.

2012 – DBP successfully raised US$300-million in global dollar notes as its contribution to the P200-billion Private-Public Partnership Projects of the Philippines. The Bank’s water sustainability initiative in Boracay bagged an award from the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific.

2015 – Largely fueled by loans, DBP’s total assets crossed the half-trillion mark at P504-billion. Branch banking operations were intensified especially in the countryside.

2017 – DBP was named “SME Bank of the Year’’ in The Asian Banker–Philippine Country Awards.

2020 – DBP joined the ranks of trillion-peso banks in the country, with total assets reaching P1.04-trillion.

2021 – DBP was conferred by the Department of Trade and Industry with a Philippine Quality Award (PQA) Level 2 Award for its proficient practice of quality management.

These developments paved the way for the pursuit of other activities that allowed the Bank to fulfill its development mandate more meaningfully.

Today, DBP sharpens its development focus as the country’s Infrastructure Bank. DBP supports the National Government’s effort towards building a stronger and more resilient Philippine economy, through broader financial inclusion and sustainable infrastructure development.

Focusing on sectors with the biggest and most immediate impact on every Filipino’s well-being, DBP has put in place a comprehensive framework to spur progress in vital sectors of the economy focusing on four major areas – infrastructure and logistics; social services; micro, small and medium enterprises; and the environment. Among the Bank’s flagship initiatives are the Infrastructure Contractors Support (ICONS); Connecting Rural Urban Intermodal Systems Efficiently (CRUISE); Water for Every Filipino (WATER); Financing Utilities for Sustainable Energy Development (FUSED); Building Affordable Homes Accessible to Every Filipino (BAHAY); Strategic Healthcare Investment for Enhanced Lending and Development (SHIELD); Education Sector Support for Knowledge, Wisdom and Empowerment through Lending Assistance (ESKWELA); DBP Forest; and Green Financing/ Green Climate Fund programs.