DBP eyes bigger role in Dutertenomics

Michelle Ong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2018 03:07 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2018 04:38 PM

MANILA - State-run lender Development Bank of the Philippines said Monday it was eyeing a bigger role in President Rodrigo Duterte's massive infrastructure program.

The bank said P76.23 billion of its loan portfolio was in infrastructure and logistics, and that in 2017, it released P7 billion in loans under its infrastructure contractors support (ICONS) program.

It also said it was willing to partner with foreign parties who want to participate in Philippine infrastructure projects, particularly in railways.

"If some of the rail projects will be funded by foreign governments and they will need to have a local component to those projects, we are also prepared to lend. We already went through the list (license) contractors, we're telling our account officers to call them, big or small projects of theirs can be funded by our ICONS program," said DBP president and CEO Cecilia Borromeo. 

The government is looking to spend around P8 trillion to build new roads, railways and airports under a plan dubbed "Dutertenomics."

The DBP can help finance the Clark Airport project since the winning bidder to expand the terminal, GMR-Megawide, is its client, she said.

"If they would like to borrow some more for that project we can do that. We're not yet hitting our maximum for that group," she said.

Borromeo meanwhile also said DBP is on track to unload its MRT-3 shares this year. 

She said the MRT-3 shares were good investments for the banks, but DBP was ready to support whatever the government plans for its stake.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez was quoted in reports earlier this month saying the government may sell MRT shares after the problems of the mass transit system were resolved. 

"Our investment in MRTC (Metro Rail Transit Corp.) are considered as investments in non-allied activities, and as such, those investments carry a heavy weight on our capital."

DBP said its net income grew 21 percent in 2017 at P5.1 billion, while its loan portfolio also grew 22 percent to P293.5 billion.