State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has released
P39.33-billion in loans under a specialized loan financing program that aims to address funding gaps in infrastructure development in the country, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said a total of 332 borrowers have availed of funding support under the Bank’s flagship Infrastructure Contractors Support Program (ICONS), which was conceived in 2017 to support the National Government’s “Build, Build, Build” initiative.
“DBP remains committed to fulfill its mandate as the country’s premiere Infrastructure Bank,” Herbosa said. “We would like to remain at the forefront of development financing in the country.”
DBP is the eighth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and has been designated by the National Government as the country’s infrastructure bank. As of end-2019, DBP’s loan portfolio stood at
P413.9-billion with about 46.2 percent, or P164.8 billion, allotted for the infrastructure and logistics sector.
The DBP ICONS program aims to improve the capacity of local contractors to complete their contracts and finance their own investments including the acquisition of heavy equipment for construction projects such as residential and non-residential buildings, roads and bridges, water, wastewater, sanitation, power and energy infrastructure.
Herbosa said DBP would like to take a more proactive role in providing needed financial support to complete the 100 priority projects under “Build, Build, Build” worth about
He said there is a need to ramp up support to crucial public infrastructure projects in order to mitigate the effects of a possible slow-down in the economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We foresee that state financing institutions such as DBP would be pivotal in ensuring that the recent economic gains would be sustained,” Herbosa said.
Economic managers have said that the National Government would continue building infrastructure projects to boost the country’s competitiveness despite the reallocation of budgets this year to augment operations against the spread of the COVID-19 disease in the country.