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Opening Remarks of DBP President & CEO Gil A. Buenaventura
Development Forum – “Moving Forward: DBP’s Role in Sustainable Inclusive Growth”
15 July 2013 (Monday) / 2:00 p.m. / Bulwagan ng Diwang Pilipino

Dr. Manny Esguerra [NEDA Deputy Director General]
Mr. Norio Usui [senior economist of the Philippine Country Office-ADB]
Mr. Romy Bernardo [managing director of Lazaro, Bernardo, Tiu & Associates]
Other distinguished guests
My colleagues in DBP

Good afternoon and welcome to the first-ever DBP Developmental Forum. We have an exciting line-up of resource persons who are sure to provoke our minds and get us thinking about DBP’s challenging role in stimulating both sustainable and inclusive growth.
As stated in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, “Inclusive growth means, first of all, growth that is rapid enough to matter, given the country’s large population, geographical differences, and social complexity. It is sustained growth that creates jobs, draws the majority into the economic and social mainstream, and continuously reduces mass poverty.”

I’d like to believe that DBP, as a development finance institution, already has a handle on catalyzing inclusive growth. DBP’s mandate has always been to support the government’s national development agenda. That’s the reason why our Bank is here; that’s the essence of our existence.

This mandate has complex considerations. Beyond just providing support interventions, we have to be sure that our initiatives are appropriate, responsive, timely, and effective vis-a-vis the requirements of specific development sectors. At the same time, DBP must have the financial muscle to sustain these initiatives.
Cascading the fruits of development to those who need it most is of course easier said than done. This is where our strategic roadmap comes in. Towards 2016, it has outlined specific initiatives to support the national government’s priority programs including a deliberate shift to developmental loans in priority areas. This means providing greater access to financing for both large and those at the lower end of the spectrum. This means empowering our branches and extending DBP’s reach. This means DBP becoming both a lending specialist and a provider of consulting services to craft sustainable projects integrated to the national agenda.

As we envision it, by 2016, DBP will be a globally-recognized development financial institution, serving as a catalyst for a progressive and poverty-free Philippines. Our mission is to raise the level of competitiveness of the economy for sustainable growth, supporting infrastructure development, responsible entrepreneurship, efficient social services and protection of the environment.

This Forum is very timely because we are due for a mid-year review of our operations later this month. The real, concrete and adaptable inputs about inclusive growth, its drivers and its implications, that we are sure to derive this afternoon will come in handy as we re-calibrate our operations.

Off the cuff, we need to expand our loan portfolio to optimize our unique advantage as a development institution. We need to tap more partnership opportunities to spread growth in the grassroots. We have to channel resources to sectors that require priority attention. We need to look at new initiatives for development financing.

At the same time, we have to expand our local footprint and to broaden our nationwide presence so we can continue to penetrate our markets and develop other growth areas. With a network of strategically- located branches, we can give more focus on supporting those who are in greater need of our interventions. This includes the marginalized sectors whose need for capitalization cannot be accommodated by commercial banks; yet, they play a crucial role in stimulating countryside development.

To my mind, DBP’s role in sustainable, inclusive growth is obviously best linked to the provision of credit access for disadvantaged groups who have been excluded from the growth story. In this way, we complement the national government’s current social and economic policies which already focus on ensuring that the growth process involves more Filipinos. Targeting the inclusion of more Filipinos into the delivery of growth as workers, entrepreneurs and consumers of public and private goods also implies an equitable allocation of resources with benefits incurred to every section of our society.

Thank you. Enjoy your Development Forum, and good afternoon.

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