State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is working closely with the National Government in extending financing to critical development initiatives especially in former strife-torn areas in Mindanao, a senior official said.
DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the bank would capitalize on the improved peace and order situation in the region to pump in more funding support for public infrastructure, social services, food security and local industry development projects.
“We want to assist in food security projects and improve the level of social services and infrastructure to help Mindanao achieve its full potential,” Herbosa said.
Last week, Herbosa along with a contingent led by Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr. went on a two-day visit in former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Camp Bilal to meet with Hadji Abdullah G. Makapaar, formerly known as Commander Bravo, to explore possible business opportunities in the area.
The camp, which was a former MILF stronghold, is one of six camps identified for transformation into “productive agricultural areas” under the flagship Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro of the National Government.
Herbosa said last year, DBP had an outstanding loan portfolio of P49.755-billion for developmental loans in Mindanao, which funded various projects including a banana plantation, bulk water systems, hydropower and solar projects, hospitals, solid waste projects, and other developmental initiatives.
He said the bank had entered into a partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) to expedite flagship projects and programs for Mindanao under the 2017 to 2022 Philippine Development Plan.
Under the agreement, DBP would serve as financial advisor of MinDA for major infrastructure and other projects, as well as a possible loan provider for proposed ventures in the southern islands to generate employment, particularly in the Bangsamoro areas.
“Now is the time for Mindanao to move forward and grow as a region thus helping to attain lasting peace in the region through inclusive economic development,” Herbosa said.