State-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has offered to provide financing to public and private health care institutions and boost the overall capacity of the health care system in the country, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Herbosa said the bank’s initiatives under its Strategic Healthcare Investments for Enhanced Lending & Development (SHIELD) program would be beneficial to companies and local government units seeking to enhance accessibility to health care services especially to low-income groups in underserved communities.
“DBP is prepared to fill in the need to develop new health care facilities in the country and improve overall preparedness of the nation especially during outbreaks and national public health emergencies” Herbosa said.
Based on government data, there are approximately more than 1,400 hospitals in the country with about 32 percent or around 463 government-run. Out of the total number, about 58 percent are located in Luzon, 17 percent in the Visayas, and 19 percent in Mindanao.
DBP SHIELD is a specially designed program that provides funding support to hospitals, laboratories, diagnostic centers, clinics, and primary care providers including pharmacies, family physician clinics, and the like that need to develop or construct and acquire health care facilities and equipment.
Herbosa said as of end January 2020, DBP SHIELD has lent out a total of
P11.25-billion to 85 borrowers in various parts of the country.
He said the program has a longer repayment period of 15 years at prevailing rates and inclusive of a three-year grace period.
“Interested borrowers may coordinate with any of our 23 Lending Centers nationwide and/ or access the DBP website at www.dbp.ph to get the program mechanics of DBP SHIELD,” Herbosa said.
President Duterte recently issued Proclamation No. 929, placing the entire country under a State of Calamity in the wake of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines. As of April 1, 2020, there have been 2,311 cases across the archipelago.