Malabing Valley Multi-Purpose Cooperative General Manager Daniel Bartong (left) showcases Satsuma fruits (bottom, right) in the Coop’s orchard, where they also operate plant nurseries (top, right) which produces varieties of citrus fruits.
KASIBU, Nueva Vizcaya – In the mountainous terrains of Malabing Valley in this 3rd class municipality, around 400,000 trees of Satsuma, Ponkan, Red Chandler (Pomelo) and other varieties of citrus thrive in its rich soil and cool climate.
“For sweet citrus fruits, the ideal place to grow them is where the climate is cold in the evening and a bit warmer during the day,” said Daniel Bartong, General Manager of the Cooperative.
The Malabing Valley Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) is an agri-based cooperative engaged in citrus and vegetable production, and is recognized as one of the major producers of citrus fruits in the province. It has more than 2,000 members – almost 500 of whom are citrus farmers – with some 500 hectares of total aggregate orchard.
But the Cooperative’s beginnings were not as sweet as the fruits they are harvesting today.
The Cooperative was founded by Alfonso Namujhe, Jr. in 1991 after developing a passion for home grown citrus from his parents who were then planting dalandan in the valley. Considered the father of citrus industry in the province today, Namujhe pursued his passion and formed Malabing Valley MPC with 48 members and Php16,300.00 as start-up capital.
“Citrus production needs a considerable amount of financial investment. For example, it takes around 3 to 4 years for the trees to bear fruit. After that, you will need around half a million pesos to maintain one hectare of orchard,” said Bartong.
With the amount of investment needed for citrus production, Malabing Valley MPC sought assistance from lending institutions to help them start out. However, this proved to be difficult since no bank wanted to take a chance on them, except Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK).
“When we first started, LANDBANK was the only one who trusted our Cooperative and the citrus industry as an income-generating business. There were many lending institutions but they did not believe in us and the viability of the industry,” added Bartong.
Through their initial credit exposure with LANDBANK in the 1990s, the Malabing Valley MPC was able to re-lend to their farmer-members to provide for their farming needs and produce quality citrus fruits, which in return improved the income of its members. Currently, the Cooperative markets its produce in Nueva Vizcaya, Northern and Central Luzon, Baguio City, and the National Capital Region (NCR).
In 2018, LANDBANK approved a P226 Million credit line to the Cooperative for its rediscounting line, working capital, and term loan-relending for Citrus Production (new plantation and rejuvenation) which benefited 1,340 SFFs and other member-borrowers close to 2,000.
The Cooperative has been an active borrower of LANDBANK for 29 years already and an active member of the Nueva Vizcaya Credit Surety Fund (NVCSF).
To ensure the sustainability of the Cooperative’s business, Mr. Alfonso Namujhe, Jr., who introduced Satsuma production in the area, together with the entire membership of Malabing Valley MPC, continue to study about the latest technological advancements in citrus production, with the help of the Nueva Vizcaya State University and other government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and local farmer-scientists.
“Maraming salamat sa LANDBANK dahil naniwala sila sa amin. Sana po ay tuloy-tuloy ang partnership namin sa LANDBANK at marami pa silang matulungan na mga magsasaka,” said Bartong.
LANDBANK bankrolls P1.15-B waste-to-energy power plant in Nueva Ecija
Green Innovations for Tomorrow Corporation’s (GIFTC) rice husk-fueled power plant in Talavera, Nueva Ecija, recycles around 480,000 kg. of rice husks per day and can supply electricity to around 6,480 households. TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – The Green Innovations for Tomorrow Corporation (GIFTC) has carried out an economical and sustainable solution to address the problem of agricultural waste in this province—recognized as the ‘rice granary’ of the Philippines—by converting rice husks as biomass into renewable energy. With rice production as the major source of livelihood in this palay-producing town, large volumes of rice husks are regularly being disposed of or burned in open fire, posing both environmental and health hazards to the community. GIFTC aspired to recycle and make this agricultural waste useful by establishing a biomass power plant that would generate electricity for households in the province. To help make this vision a reality, GIFTC sought financial assistance from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and was granted loans in 2013 and 2018 totaling P1.15 billion under the Bank’s Renewable Energy Program. Part of the LANDBANK loan bankrolled the construction of GIFTC’s biomass power plant in 2016, which is currently operating at a capacity of 10.8 megawatts electric (MWe). The rest of the loan was allocated for the reimbursement of cost utilized for warehouses, dormitories and other structures, replacement or repair of power plant parts, permanent working capital, including the acquisition of rice husk. “LANDBANK was the first financial institution that believed in GIFTC’s vision for a sustainable future for our town, and for the whole country. We wouldn’t be where we are now if it weren’t for their assistance,” said Engr. Martin O. Vendivil, Assistant Chief Operating Officer of GIFTC. Through the services of a grid operator, GIFTC’s biomass power plant can supply electricity to an estimated 6,480 households in selected municipalities and cities in Nueva Ecija, including other areas in neighboring provinces. The GIFTC power plant consumes around 480,000 kilograms of rice husks per day bought from rice mills in the area, significantly decreasing agricultural waste in the town. More importantly, the energy corporation helps reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, while preserving the country’s natural resources by manufacturing a renewable energy source. “LANDBANK fully supports projects that harness the potential of renewable and alternative energy resources. We will continue to work with development partners in preserving our environment and promoting climate change adaptation,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. Through the LANDBANK Renewable Energy Program, the state-run Bank aims to finance the development of renewable energy sources and increase access to reliable, clean and sustainable power to help mitigate the effects of global warming and climate change in the country. Eligible borrowers such as electric cooperatives, local government units (LGUs), government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), and government agencies may borrow up to 90% of the total cost of the project. Cooperatives, associations and private borrowers categorized as single proprietorships, partnerships, or corporations may also borrow up to 80% of the total project cost under the Program. Term loans for working capital and project preparation are payable up to five (5) years with a six-month grace period on principal payment, while loans for capital expenditure are payable based on the borrower’s cash flow up to 15 years, with a three-year grace period. The interest rate shall be based on the prevailing market rate but not lower than 5% per year. As of 31 March 2022, LANDBANK has approved loans totaling P20.1 billion to 56 borrowers nationwide under the Renewable Energy Program, underscoring the Bank’s thrust of promoting sustainable finance and development.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK scales up support for Bulacan with new corporate center
LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo (3rd from left), Bulacan State University President Dr. Cecilia S. Navasero-Gascon (5th from left), and Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. President Michael S. Yanga (4th from left) lead the inauguration of the LANDBANK Bulacan Corporate Center along McArthur Highway in Brgy. Dakila, Malolos City on 13 May 2022. Joining them are LANDBANK Executive Vice Presidents Julio D. Climaco, Jr. (leftmost) and Alan V. Bornas (rightmost), and LANDBANK Senior Vice President Randolph L. Montesa (2nd from left). MALOLOS CITY, Bulacan – Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) recently inaugurated a three-story corporate center along McArthur Highway in Brgy. Dakila, Malolos City to provide Bulaceños convenient access to a wide array of banking services. The LANDBANK Bulacan Corporate Center is designed as a one-stop shop for various banking and financial services, as it houses the Bank’s major touchpoints and offices. Located at the ground floor of the corporate center is the LANDBANK Malolos Highway Branch, which caters to nearby local government units, academic institutions, corporations, and individual depositors from the 51 barangays of Malolos City and the 29 barangays of the Municipality of Calumpit. Also situated in the building is the LANDBANK Bulacan Lending Center, which offers affordable financing for farmers and fishers, agribusinesses, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), countryside financial institutions, and local government units (LGUs), among others. LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo, Bulacan State University President Dr. Cecilia S. Navasero-Gascon, and Dr. Yanga’s Colleges, Inc. President Michael S. Yanga led the inauguration rites for the LANDBANK Bulacan Corporate Center on 13 May 2022. They were joined by LANDBANK Executive Vice Presidents Julio D. Climaco, Jr. and Alan V. Bornas, Senior Vice President Randolph L. Montesa, and other LANDBANK officials. “The LANDBANK Bulacan Corporate Center illustrates our continuing commitment to provide greater banking convenience and accessibility to our growing customers. We also hope that this serves as a landmark to generate livelihood and business opportunities to bolster Bulacan’s local economy,” said President and CEO Borromeo. Other LANDBANK field offices stationed in the Bulacan Corporate Center are the Bulacan Accounting Center, Field Legal Services, Area Legal Unit II, Property Valuation and Credit Information Department-Bulacan Field Team, and the Bulacan Loans Operations Field Unit. A dedicated space for the Commission on Audit Regional Office III was also provided within the corporate center. As of end-April 2022, LANDBANK has a total of 12 branches, one (1) lending center, and 51 automated teller machines (ATMs) across the Province of Bulacan. LANDBANK is the only bank present in all 81 provinces in the Philippines, with its continued expansion geared towards servicing the requirements of its diverse customer base, especially in unbanked and underserved areas.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK loans to agri sector reach P237-B as of Q1 2022
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) remains the biggest lender to the agriculture sector, with loans reaching P236.8 billion as of 31 March 2022. The loans were used to finance various economic activities of major players in the industry—from small farmers and fishers to large agribusiness enterprises, as well as local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) for agri-aqua related projects and construction of needed infrastructure such as public markets, cold storages, irrigation systems, farm-to-market roads, warehouses, and slaughterhouses. Small farmers and fishers benefited from the P35 billion loans channeled through cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions and other partner conduits of LANDBANK. “We continue to intensify our support to the agri sector, particularly the farmers and fishers whom we celebrate in this month of May. LANDBANK is committed in delivering timely and responsive support to boost their production and income,” said LANDBANK president and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. Financing for small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises accounted for P146.62 billion of the total loans, P55.19 billion supported LGUs and GOCCs, and the remaining P99.64 billion backed the construction and improvement of essential infrastructure. In terms of economic activities, P56.39 billion of LANDBANK’s total agri sector loans financed crops, livestock, and fisheries, while P80.83 billion was channeled to agri-processing and trading. As part of its intensified support to the agriculture sector, LANDBANK continues to implement regular loan offerings alongside lending programs in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). As of 31 March 2022, LANDBANK has released a total of P12.51 billion under the programs administered for DA, which include the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA), the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF), the Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid), and SURE COVID-19. Meanwhile, the Bank’s cumulative loan releases under DAR’s Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD) has reached P700 million. LANDBANK remains fully committed towards advancing a more vibrant, productive, and resilient agriculture sector in line with serving the nation.LEARN MORE