Banks are ready to come in and finance the Duterte administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure projects should they encounter any “funding delays,” according to a high-ranking official of BDO Capital and Investment Corp., the investment banking unit of BDO Unibank Inc., the largest lender in the country.
Speaking as one of the private sector panelists in a business forum hosted by CNN Philippines, BDO Capital and Investment Corp. president Eduardo Francisco said domestic banks were very much ready to provide support.
“BDO Capital fully supports the government’s infrastructure initiative. As a bridge, [government can] use banks for funding if there are delays, no matter what funding scheme is utilized,” he said.
BDO Capital provides diversified services that include trading and underwriting securities, loan syndication, financial advisory services, and project finance services.
It holds dialogs with government and potential bidders on how the whole BDO group could help fund projects—from the advisory stage all the way to project financing.
Infrastructure is among the top priorities of the Duterte administration with public spending targeted to reach P8 trillion to P9 trillion from 2017 to 2022.
Dubbed as the “Build, Build, Build,” the initiative involves 75 flagship projects, which include six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges and four seaports that will help bring down the costs of production, improve rural incomes, encourage countryside investments, make the movement of goods and people more efficient, and create more jobs.
Also included in the massive infra program is the construction of a 25-kilometer subway that will traverse Metro Manila in a bid to decongest the metropolis of heavy traffic that has been causing around P3.5 billion in economic losses daily, according to a study by Japan International Cooperation Agency.
The government will rely on official development assistance, especially from Japan and China, as its main sources of infrastructure funding, as well as expected revenues from the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law, although it remained open to private-public partnerships or PPP funding scheme as well.
Aside from banks, the insurance industry has also expressed interest to take part in the infrastructure program of the government. One of them was Philippine American Life and General Insurance Co., the country’s leading life insurance firm. Julito G. Rada
In an earlier briefing, Philam Life chief financial officer Gary James Ogilvie said the “insurance industry can support these investments,” referring to the infrastructure projects. “These are good types of investments,” Ogilvie said. Julito G. Rada