The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) will expand its lending programs in the Province of Cotabato from 30,000 beneficiaries assisted since 2012, to 70,000 by going directly to individual farmers and fishers, including those engaged in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The Bank made this announcement during the recent “Farmers and Agri-MSMEs Caravan” organized by LANDBANK and the Office of Cotabato Province Governor Nancy A. Catamco at the Provincial Gymnasium in Kidapawan City last July 31, 2019, and attended by some 1,680 small farmers and fishers, agricultural MSMEs, cooperatives and indigenous peoples from the 17 municipalities and one city of the Province.
“As we push forward with our aggressive thrust to promote greater financial inclusion, LANDBANK is continuously banking on partnerships with LGUs to bring financial services closer to more unbanked and underserved Filipinos. We hope to replicate this event in other provinces,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
The day-long event included presentations about the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs), a direct lending program of LANDBANK in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) that caters to individual ARBs engaged in the production of rice, corn and high value crops, as well as the acquisition of small farm implements such as hand tractors.
Another lending window discussed was the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA), a tie-up with the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) that aims to provide timely financial assistance to sugarcane farmers, block farms, planters’ cooperatives/associations/federations and service centers duly registered with SRA.
Finally, LANDBANK also presented the program features of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), another lending facility for farmers, fishers, MSMEs, cooperatives and associations for the acquisition and establishment of production, post-harvest, and processing machineries; equipment and facilities; and farm inputs and improvements.
As of June 30, 2019, the combined loans extended to the agriculture sector and the Bank’s mandated sector reached P219.63 billion, which is 27.45% of LANDBANK’s total loans to all sectors of P799.64 billion, making it consistently compliant with Republic Act No. 10000 or the Agri-Agra Credit Law, which mandates banks to allot 25% of their total loanable funds to agriculture and fisheries.
The Caravan was held in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Regional Field Office XII, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) – Provincial Office, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) – Regional Office XII, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – Revenue District Office 108, and the Commission of Elections (COMELEC).