Bataan palay farmers Godofredo Magpoc (leftmost), Danilo Zulueta (upper right), and Roberto Morales (lower right) reap the benefits of financial assistance from the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) Program of Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) for the production requirements of their rice fields.
BATAAN – For the past 37 years, Godofredo Magpoc has provided for his family by growing different varieties of palay in his 2-hectare farm in Orion town. But with the recent decline in palay prices affecting his income, raising capital to sustain his livelihood has become a challenge.
“Sa panahon ngayon, lubhang napakahirap para sa isang magsasaka ang mawalan ng puhunan. Kaya naman napipilitan humiram sa patubuan (informal lenders),” Magpoc said.
In December 2019, Magpoc learned about the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) Program of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Department of Agriculture (DA). This credit facility aims to boost the productivity and income of small rice farmers, and cushion the initial impact of Republic Act No. 11203, also known as the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL).
Under the ERCA-RCEF, individual farmers may borrow up to 90% of the total project cost—at a fixed interest rate of 2% per annum—for the purchase of farm inputs for rice and rice seed production, and acquisition of farm machineries and equipment for production and post-production.
Magpoc successfully applied for a loan of P78,500.00 from LANDBANK, which he used to purchase farm inputs and hire additional farm workers. Since availing of the ERCA-RCEF Program, he has seen an increase in yield of about 30-40 cavans of rice every harvest season. He will be availing his fourth loan under the Program this May 2021.
“In partnership with the Department of Agriculture, LANDBANK remains focused on delivering responsive financial services most especially to rice farmers and cooperatives. Through the ERCA-RCEF Program, we aim to increase their productivity and income through timely and accessible financial assistance,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
Like Magpoc, palay farmer Danilo Zulueta from the Municipality of Pilar, also enjoyed the benefits of the ERCA-RCEF Program. A farmer for the past 20 years, he was granted a loan of P61,500.00 last December 2020 to support his 1.5-hectare rice field, which he used for land preparation, and to buy fertilizers and pesticides.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng pautang ng LANDBANK at DA. Dahil sa sapat na puhunan, nakapagpatanim ako ng naaayon sa bilang ng araw ng punla at nakapagsabog ng abono (fertilizer) sa tamang panahon. Dahil dito, naniniwala akong magkakaroon ako ng masaganang ani at siyempre, magkakaroon ng karagdagang kita,” said Zulueta.
For Roberto Morales, another palay farmer from Balanga City, the ERCA-RCEF Program is the best alternative from informal lenders who charge higher interest rates. Under the Program, LANDBANK granted him a loan of P82,000.00 in December 2019 which he used as additional capital to purchase fertilizers and pesticides.
“Malaki ang naitulong ng perang nahiram ko mula sa LANDBANK. Tumaas ang aking kita dahil 2% per annum lang ang interest rate ng ERCA-RCEF kumpara sa iba na may mataas na interes,” said Morales.
Continuing support for palay farmers
Under the ERCA-RCEF Program, LANDBANK has cumulatively released P1.03 billion in loans to 6,214 eligible borrowers composed of palay farmers and cooperatives as of April 30, 2021.
Most of the farmer-beneficiaries were from Region 2—particularly the rice-producing provinces of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino—where LANDBANK assisted a total of 3,129 rice farmers and 19 cooperatives.
DA-accredited cooperatives may also borrow under the ERCA-RCEF Program for the purchase of farm inputs for rice and rice seed production as a collective operation, working capital for rice and rice seed trading, and other rice farming-related activities such as the acquisition of machineries and equipment, as well as relending and rediscounting of existing loans of small rice farmers listed in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
For on-lending, the interest rate is at 0% per annum with prescribed pass-on rate to end-borrowers of up to 6% per annum.
As mandated by Republic Act No. 11203, LANDBANK shall continue to administer the ERCA-RCEF Program for DA until 2024, and make available P500 million in loans annually to rice farmers registered to the RSBSA in 38 rice-producing provinces.
For more information about LANDBANK’s Lending Programs, interested borrowers may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.
LANDBANK certified anew to ISO standards amid pandemic
State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has secured continuous certification for ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System (QMS) and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management System (EMS) standards until December 2022, underscoring the Bank’s steadfast commitment to delivering quality financial and support services towards promoting sustainable and inclusive development. Certification International Philippines, Inc. (CIP)—a local consulting company that specializes in ISO recognition—completed the remote second surveillance audit of the Bank’s Head Office, 13 branches, and four field units from July to September 2021. “This recognition is in line with our thrust to promote excellent customer service as part of serving the nation. Next year, we will raise the bar even higher by expanding our performance commitments to include the continued certification to the EMS standards to fully comply with the Sustainable Finance Framework of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP),” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. During the closing meeting on 29 September 2021, CIP commended LANDBANK’s Management System and personnel for its adaptability to the changing demographics, risks, market demands, and innovations in the industry while navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis. “The commitment of the competent LANDBANK personnel is a key driver in its successful maintenance of the Integrated Management System (IMS). LANDBANK remains very strong and is even stronger during the pandemic,” CIP said. CIP also gave positive feedback to the Bank’s regular conduct of Management Review and Field Unit staff meetings, which was classified as an excellent way of constantly reviewing the Bank’s performance. The Bank was also commended for its consistency in upholding internal policies and procedures from the head office to the field units, as sampled units continued to achieve high targets despite the challenging task of physically reporting for work at the height of the pandemic. ISO 9001:2015 is an international standard dedicated to Quality Management Systems (QMS). It outlines a framework for improving quality and a vocabulary of understanding for any organization looking to provide products and services that consistently meet the requirements and expectations of customers and other relevant interested parties in the most efficient manner possible. LANDBANK’s continued certification to the QMS standards is part of its 2021 performance commitments to the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), while the EMS standards signifies the Bank’s continued commitment to the preservation of the environment and the efficient management of its resources.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK retail dollar bond sales top US$205-M
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) contributed US$205.27 million or close to 13% of the US$1.593 billion generated from the maiden Retail Dollar Bond (RDB) offering of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr). The proceeds will fund infrastructure projects and boost health services to fast-track the country’s ongoing economic resurgence, after suffering from debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 15 September to 1 October 2021, the state-run Bank sold the RDB offer through various investment channels, which allowed Filipino retail investors worldwide to participate in the said offering safely and conveniently. Of LANDBANK’s total RDB sales, US$95 million was raised during the rate-setting auction at the launch event held on September 15. The remaining US$109.94 million and US$329,700 were facilitated via over-the-counter placements at LANDBANK branches and online channels, respectively. About US$203,500 of LANDBANK’s RDB sales online was facilitated through the mobile banking application (MBA) of the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank)—the official digital bank of the Philippine government and a subsidiary of LANDBANK. Likewise, US$107,800 was transacted using the LANDBANK MBA, while the remaining US$18,400 was processed through the BTr’s Online Ordering Facility via LANDBANK’s Link.BizPortal. “A significant draw to the RDB offering was the availability of various investment channels that provided greater convenience and accessibility to retail investors worldwide. The wide participation in this offering also demonstrates the increasing appreciation for the government’s affordable and higher-yielding investment instruments that spur economic recovery and development,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. The RDBs are United States (US) dollar-denominated bonds offered at a minimum investment of US$300 and increments of US$100 thereafter, with annual interest rates of 1.375% and 2.25% for the five- and 10-year bonds, respectively. Interest payments will be paid quarterly during the term of the bond. LANDBANK is Joint Lead Issue Manager for the RDB issuance, as part of its continued support to advance greater financial inclusion and raise state resources for timely and responsive recovery and development initiatives.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK’s P50-M loan ‘links’ La Union town to a promising future
ARINGAY, La Union – The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has approved a P50-million term loan of the Municipal Government of Aringay for the construction of a three-span bridge which is expected to boost growth and progress for the town’s underdeveloped areas. The new bridge will be built between Barangay San Juan East and Barangay San Juan West to connect seven isolated barangays of Aringay to the town proper, thereby making the transport of agricultural goods and access to essential services safer, easier, and more efficient. Upon completion of the bridge, farmers from the seven barangays can conveniently transport their harvests directly to Aringay’s public market instead of bringing these to Baguio City in Benguet. They will also no longer need to cross a river using a raft or pass through other perilous routes during heavy rains that often add to costs. The more than 14,800 residents from the seven barangays can also safely reach the town proper to access essential services, such as medical assistance, without the risk that comes with crossing the river. The P50-million term loan of the Municipal Government of Aringay was approved under the LANDBANK RISE UP LGUs (Restoration and Invigoration Package for a Self-sufficient Economy towards UPgrowth for LGUs) Lending Program, designed to support local government units (LGUs) in the implementation of their respective economic recovery plans. “LANDBANK is fully committed to servicing the infrastructure requirements of our LGU partners to fast-track the recovery of local communities. These projects are crucial to spur economic activities towards inclusive and sustainable development,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. As of 31 August 2021, LANDBANK has approved loans for 322 LGUs under the RISE UP LGUs Program totaling P88.42 billion. “Napakalaking tulong ang maibibigay ng tulay para sa pagpapaunlad ng produktong agrikultura at sa ikabubuti ng mga residente ng Aringay. Tatlumpung taong hinanapan ng pondo ang proyektong ito para ito’y maisakatuparan. Nagpapasalamat kami sa programa ng LANDBANK at sa kanilang matiyagang paggabay at pagsubaybay dahil nabigyan kami ng pagkakataong matupad ang adhikaing matagal naming minimithi,” said Aringay Mayor Eric O. Sibuma. LANDBANK is one with LGUs nationwide in implementing various development projects and in serving the nation as it threads the path to recovery and resiliency amid the ongoing pandemic.LEARN MORE