BEHEST LOANS | Alvarez eyes ‘privileged’ DBP loan borrowers

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Pantaleon Alvarez
Speaker of the House Pantaleon Alvarez

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has asked the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to find out the status of loans and the identity of three “privileged borrowers” who were able to obtain a loan of over P5 billion from the state-owned bank in 2015.

Alvarez said he obtained a Commission on Audit (COA) report, which observed that the loans were released even when it could result in “possible loss of government funds” and “higher credit risks.”

The beneficiaries of the loans were companies involved in the power sector and in mass housing.

In a congressional hearing, Alvarez asked Cecilia Borromeo, DBP president and chief executive officer, to check the identity of the companies.

“Pinapa-submit ko sila (DBP) ng listahan kung sinu-sino iyong mga borrowers na iyon (I am asking for a lost of the borrowers). It looks like they’re privileged borrowers because DBP apparently bent policies just to accommodate the loans,” he said.

“Limited yung capital ng bangko para magpahiram ng ganun kalaki doon sa mga privileged borrowers, kaya tingnan natin yun, kung ito ba nakakabayad ng loan nila, tingnan natin kung hindi ba nawawala iyong pera ng gobyerno (The bank did not have the capacity to lend that much to the privileged borrowers, so we’ll see if they were able to repay, if the government did not lose any money there),” the Speaker added.

Alvarez said the DBP can easily obtain the information about the borrowers because the information is not covered by the bank Secrecy Law.