Mindanao Times

DBP eyes lower rates LGUs in water projects

- BY CARMELITO Q. FRANCISCO

THE GOVERNMENT-RUN Developmen­t Bank of the Philippine­s (DBP) is developing a mechanism that will impose lower rates on borrowings of smaller local government units (LGUs), a bank official said over the weekend.

Lawyer Rogelio V. Garcia, one of the four DBP directors from Southern Mindanao, said in a press conference over the weekend that the bank can even provide rate of as low as 3.5% to 4% a year to smaller towns from the regular 6.5% to 7% annually.

“That is now the concept that we are trying to develop and we are preparing a template for this,” Garcia said.

The bank, he added, can even extend the loan period as at present, the “basic length of the loan term of DBP is between seven to 10 years, but we can, of course, make some extension to (on the length of the term) depending on the project.”

This mechanism will be introduced to LGUs and cooperativ­es that are planning to avail of the program for water facilities that the Mindanao Developmen­t

Authority (MinDA), in cooperatio­n with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the bank, is preparing to roll out.

Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol, MinDA chair, said LGUs and cooperativ­es can even make these facilities a business venture as “they could recover their investment­s.”

Among the first LGUs to express interest on the program was Compostela Valley (ComVal) which is crafting a P300 million bulk water project to supply potable water to its three towns.

Piñol said he and ComVal Gov. Jayvee Tyron L. Uy discussed the proposal, prompting MinDA to grant the province about P500,000 from its savings to draft the feasibilit­y and engineerin­g study of the water bulk facility of the province.

He said the fund will come from the savings of his agency and will help the province formulate its program with the Developmen­t

Bank of the Philippine­s (DBP) will help fund.

“ComVal is actually looking at P300 million loan to provide water to Nabunturan and two other towns,” said Mr. Piñol, adding that this might become among the biggest projects under the water program of his agency.

He said he and Uy were supposed to sign the agreement for the release of the fund last weekend, but the provincial board has yet to pass a resolu

tion needed to authorize Uy to enter into the agreement.

For other provinces that want to emulate ComVal, Piñol said they need to wait for next year as the agency is looking at providing more assistance to them to craft their programs related to potable water and solar irrigation.

“(In providing more assistance to the local government units) our advantage is we have access to other funding agencies,” he said, in reference to internatio­nal donor agencies like the Japan Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n Agency, European Union, United States Agency for Internatio­nal Developmen­t and Australian Assistance for Internatio­nal Developmen­t, among others.

In a related developmen­t, Piñol said his agency is planning to put desalinati­on facilities in island communitie­s of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula that are in dire need of potable water.

He said the facilities, which would either tap the technology from Israel, China and Italy will provide these “often neglected and overlooked (communitie­s) in the country” with potable drinking water.

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