LANDBANK-assisted cooperative helps sustain abaca industry in Catanduanes

August 26, 2020

(left) Pinoy Lingap-Damayan MPC (PLDC) officers and staff led by General Manager Antonio A. Jimenez, Jr., welcomes Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Region V Director Atty. Ma. Lourdes P. Pacao and LANDBANK Albay Lending Center Account Officer Armel A. Alcantara to their office building in Virac, Catanduanes. (right photos) PLDC farmer-members dry abaca fibers and prepare for its shipment.

VIRAC, Catanduanes – Pursuing a great vision requires a leap of faith. This proved to be true for a small group of Catandunganons when they resigned from their day jobs at a rural bank 10 years ago to start the People’s Livelihood Development Cooperative, which eventually became the Pinoy Lingap-Damayan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PLDC), now one of the biggest cooperative in the province of Catanduanes and the Bicol region, with more than 12,000 members.

PLDC, a cooperative engaged in microfinancing, and abaca processing and trading, was formed because 22 rural bank workers believed in their vision of improving the livelihood of their community. But it was a hard start-up for PLDC as a cooperative which had very limited funds to lend to its members. Due to financial problems, new members hesitated to join, while existing ones had to leave.

“Even my fellow founding members almost lost hope in our cooperative. But I made them realize that giving up would waste all our hard work and efforts for PLDC. I asked them for a little more patience, which eventually paid off,” said Antonio A. Jimenez, Jr., General Manager of PLDC.

They held on to keep the cooperative afloat until finally, in September 2011, LANDBANK offered a helping hand, granting them a rediscounting line to finance livelihood projects of its members, a lifeline that kept PLDC afloat, and helped it flourish. Soon, its members and capitalization continued to grow, and PLDC started expanding its operations, from offering micro-financing services to abaca processing and trading.

The co-op’s venture into the abaca industry offered an alternative market for abaca farmers in the province to sell their produce, which challenged the monopoly of traders who set prices too low. Because PLDC offered higher prices, traders were also forced to increase theirs to be at par with what the co-op was offering, thus helping stabilize and even increase the market price of abaca in the province.

For over 10 years, PLDC goes around the barangays to buy and haul abaca, saving farmers time and transportation expenses in going to the town proper to sell their produce. To date, the cooperative assists around 4,260 abaca farmers, and generates employment to more than a hundred locals, proving that the co-op is as resilient as the fibers of abaca.

Aside from abaca processing and trading, PLDC still offered financial services to their members, financing projects such as family-managed micro-businesses, low-cost housing construction and improvement, education of their children, and family emergency needs.

“We want to thank LANDBANK for trusting our cooperative. If it weren’t for them, our vision wouldn’t have become a reality. By providing us financial assistance, we were able to extend and help those who needed it the most–the farmers,” added Jimenez.

At present, PLDC remains LANDBANK’s major growth partner in Catanduanes, with a credit line covering three facilities: rediscounting line, working capital for abaca trading/processing, and term loan for the cooperative’s office building. They have also expanded into four branches covering 11 towns of Catanduanes.

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LANDBANK grants 60-day timeout on loan payments

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LANDBANK’s online accounts opening breaches 1-M mark

The boom in digital banking being experienced in the country as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an increase in online account opening and other digital banking services, said the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). The Bank has recorded 1,039,926 accounts opened online through its Digital Onboarding System (DOBS), as demand for online banking services as well as safer and more convenient ways to transact with banks continue to surge. About 492,156 accounts were opened from January to September 2020, including 11,972 for Overseas Filipino Bank accounts—LANDBANK’s digital-only branchless bank subsidiary. “This milestone is a welcome development for the Bank as it proves that Filipinos are responsive to the improvements and innovations that we implement, designed to provide them additional channels for their banking needs, as well as a more convenient banking experience in this digital age,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. LANDBANK DOBS, a pioneering web application among Philippine banks, was launched in 2019 with the goal of reducing the account opening time from 30-45 minutes to only 10 minutes. It also simplifies the account enrolment process for individuals and institutional clients. Aside from hassle-free account opening, DOBS also provides automatic enrollment to LANDBANK iAccess for internet banking, the LANDBANK Mobile App for convenient banking transactions through their smartphones, and the LANDBANK Link.BizPortal for payment of bills, products and services to the enrolled merchants in the system. The system also allows existing DOBS account holders to update their information through the system, a move to decongest client visits in Bank’s branches, especially in this time of pandemic. “This is only the start for the Bank’s digitization agenda as we also look forward to streamlining other Bank processes using new technologies such as loan application, among others,” President Borromeo said. For this banking innovation, LANDBANK has been recognized as “Asia’s Most Inclusive Bank” by the Financial Insights Innovation Awards 2019, and was conferred as “Digital Trailblazer in Financial Services” by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). Access the DOBS through the LANDBANK’s official website ( or through the Digital Corner of selected LANDBANK branches dedicated for walk-in clients who wish to access the system. Watch the tutorial video on how to apply thru DOBS via the LANDBANK YouTube Channel ( For more information about LANDBANK’s DOBS, clients may contact the nearest open LANDBANK 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.


Institutional investor wins Premyo Bonds Rewards third-quarter grand prize

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