Media Statement on the timeline for the proposed DBP-LBP merger

The Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) notes the pronouncement of the Department of Finance (DOF) concerning the timeline of the proposed merger with the Landbank of the Philippines.

We are deeply concerned on the palpable efforts to railroad the process and to create public confusion by insinuations that the unification would be “completed by November,” notwithstanding DBP’s pending appeal with the Office of the President on the results of the legal study conducted by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG).

DBP reiterates GCG’s legal study only delved on the proper mode of merger. It did not discuss the propriety of merger. In fact, based on GCG’s statements, no recommendation in favor of merger had been given. DBP maintains that the legal authority of the GCG is at best recommendatory and in no way binding on any government agency.

The DOF statement is an utter disregard of the growing clamor from policy-makers and key stakeholders on the need to undertake transparent discussion and meticulous analysis of all issues considering the planned merger’s impact especially on the livelihood and tenure of DBP’s employees.

We staunchly aver that unification of the two financial institutions requires Congressional action. DBP shall zealously exhaust all available means to ensure that all issues and concerns are properly threshed out and effectively addressed in the proper and legal forum.

Indeed, while the Supreme Court (SC) has “affirmed the constitutionality” of Republic Act No. 10149 or the “GOCC Governance Act of 2011”, the high court’s ruling did not pass upon the authority to approve or decide mergers. It only affirmed GCG’s authority as an investigative body on behalf of Congress. Moreover, while SC’s decision merely reproduced Sec.5(a) of RA 10149 which is the provision on merger and reorganization of GOCCs, it did so only in the course of debunking the petition’s main ground, which points to undue delegation of legislative power that GCG accomplished by simply applying settled jurisprudence on the subject.

DBP is confident that President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. will listen to the clamor of the people and follow the proper and legally-mandated process to protect and advance the welfare of the banking industry and the country in general.

The Board and Management of the DBP, together with our personnel remain committed to serving the banking needs of our clients and to providing the financing requirements of strategic and critical economic sectors, particularly infrastructure and logistics, micro, small and medium enterprises, social services, and the environment.