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PIA Press Release

Infra projects stimulate regional banking ? CL bankers

San Fernando City, Pampanga (18 June) -- Rural bankers and representatives of commercial banks in Central Luzon yesterday (June 17) said that aside from sound monetary policies of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the resiliency of the financial system, banking operations in the region continue to be stimulated by big-ticket infrastructure projects.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's civil works projects drew praise from Central Luzon bankers who attended the inauguration of the new Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regional office in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Remedios Miranda, who heads the Metro Angeles Bankers Association, said the 10-point program of the Arroyo administration, particularly transportation and digital infrastructure and the development of Subic and Clark, have had positive effects on the economy of the region.

"Businesses are sprouting and growing and, wherever businesses abound, so do banks which are always there to service the financial needs and to partner with businesses," Miranda said.

"It is also to the credit of the BSP's sound banking policies that local banks have weathered the global financial and economic slowdown and have retained their financial strength and stability," Miranda said.

Virgilio Garcia, president of the Olongapo Subic Rural Bankers Association, thanked the President for vital road infrastructures like the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), the Hanjin Shipyard, and the ongoing Olongapo-Gapan Road, without which, he said, the banking industry in the area could not expand because the traveling time was too long.

Garcia added that with all these vital road links, businesses have boomed in the region, including Olongapo, Bataan and growth is being felt by the ordinary people.

Garcia's reference to the TPLEX or the Tarlac, Pangasinan, Laguna Expressway, which will make interregional travel easier and faster to Batangas, Quezon and further south, elicited a smile from the President since this is her first time to hear that some people have heard of this new expressway project.

With these infrastructures, the banking system boomed since farms and industries became closer to their intended markets and investors saw a bright opportunity to set up shop in the countryside, local bankers and traders said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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