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DBP to expand assistance to big-ticket infrastructure projects


State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is looking to broaden its financing support to high-impact public infrastructure projects such as tollways, bridges, railways, and other mass transport systems that would enhance the country’s competitiveness and address problems caused by rapid urbanization, a top official said.

DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the bank remains committed to support the “Build, Build, Build” program of the administration principally through its Infrastructure Contractors Support (ICONS) program.

“DBP is prepared to expand its support to the government’s priority infrastructure projects dealing with transport and mobility to improve the country’s competitiveness standing,” Herbosa said. “We want to further build on the success of our ICONS program.”

DBP is the eighth largest bank in the country and has been designated as the Infrastructure Bank by the National Government. As of end-2019, DBP’s total loan portfolio stood at P413.9-billion, which is 25.92 percent higher from the P328.62-billion recorded in 2018.

Under the revised “Build, Build, Build” list of the National Economic and Development Authority, there are 100 projects that would be prioritized by the National Government, with about 71 dealing with transport and mobility that would require an estimated P3.9-trillion in funding.

Herbosa said DBP is exploring all options on how to optimize its role in the market once Republic Act No. 9856 Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Law takes full effect starting next year.

He said the REIT could provide new avenues for growth for the bank while promoting inclusiveness in the financial system and providing an alternative means to develop the country’s property and capital markets.

“We see a surge of potential benefits from the full implementation of the REIT Law not just for the bank but for the entire economy as well,” Herbosa said.

The REIT Law provides for the creation of asset class that enables potential investors to directly invest in completed projects of real estate firms that are already generating income such as residential or office units, shopping malls, hotels and even infrastructure projects like toll roads and power plants.