State-run Development Bank of the Philippines plans to finance more development projects in Mindanao, saying it is working closely with the national government in extending credits to critical development initiatives, especially in former strife-torn areas in the island.
DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Herbosa said Friday the bank would capitalize on the improved peace and order situation in the island 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,” said Herbosa.
The DBP chief, along with a contingent led by Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., went last week on a two-day visit in the former Moro Islamic Liberation Front Camp Bilal to meet with Hadji Abdullah Makapaar, formerly known as Commander Bravo, to explore possible business opportunities in the area.
The camp, which was a former MILF stronghold, was one of six 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 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, especially 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,” said Herbosa.
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