By Emmie V. Abadilla
The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) is financing critical development projects in former strife-torn areas in Mindanao, such as transforming former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) camps to farms, announced DBP president and chief executive officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa.
In cooperation with the National Government, “We want to assist in food security projects and improve the level of social services and infrastructure to help Mindanao achieve its full potential,” he explained.
Last year, DBP had an outstanding loan portfolio of P49.75 billion for developmental loans in Mindanao, funding various projects including a banana plantation, bulk water systems, hydropower and solar projects, hospitals, solid waste projects and other developmental initiatives.
The bank also partnered with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) 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, particularly in the Bangsamoro areas.
Last week, the DBP President, along with a contingent of Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr., visited former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Camp Bilal to meet with Hadji Abdullah G. Makapaar, known before as Commander Bravo, to explore possible business opportunities in the area.
The camp, which used to be an MILF stronghold, is one of six camps identified for transformation into “productive agricultural areas” under the flagship Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro of the National Government.