(Top photo) Agusan del Norte Gov. Dale Corvera (7th from left) and LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo (8th from left) lead the ceremonial awarding of ACEF loans to palay farmer Agapito A. Bacalso Sr. (5th from right) and corn farmer Violita T. Prandas (4th from right) during the LANDBANK Financial Inclusion Forum in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte attended by more than 600 small farmers (lower photo). Also introduced during the program was Baug CARP Beneficiaries MPC as the Bank’s Agent Banking Partners in Las Nieves, led by General Manager Luxmi Auxillo (5th from left). Joining them are Las Nieves Mayor Avelina Rosales (9th from left), Vice Mayor Larry Bautista (6th from left), and LANDBANK officials led by Branch Banking Sector Head EVP Joselito Gutierrez (3rd from left), Mindanao Lending Group Head FVP Charlotte I. Conde (2nd from left), East Mindanao Branches Group Head FVP Camilo C. Leyba (rightmost), and CARAGA Lending Center Head Department Manager Linbert Fajunio (leftmost).
LAS NIEVES, Agusan del Norte – For most residents of this 2nd class municipality in the northern part of the province, farming and fishing has been the way of life for its close to 30,000 residents, with the nearest banks and financial institutions still two hours away from the nearby cities of Bayugan and Butuan.
Las Nieves is one of the country’s 536 cities and municipalities out of 1,634 that have remained unbanked according to the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
This year, it is one of eight municipalities where Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is launching its Agent Banking Program, which will provide the public with basic banking transactions such as Point-of-Sale (POS) cash-out, prepaid card sale, card reload/card refund/withdrawal, balance inquiry, and bills payment.
Through partnerships with client cooperatives, associations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and private entities, LANDBANK’s Agent Banking Program is targeted to further expand its reach in remote and unbanked areas without the Bank’s presence.
During LANDBANK’s 5th Financial Inclusion (FI) Forum for 2019 here last October 12, 2019, the Bank formally introduced the Baug CARP Beneficiaries MPC (BCBMPC) as its first Agent Banking Partner in Las Nieves.
Launched in 2016, and now on its fourth year run, the half-day forum, dubbed “Ipon at Kabuhayan para sa ating Kababayan,” gathered more than 600 attendees, majority of whom are farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
“This is part of LANDBANK’s efforts in bringing our products and services closer to the countryside. With this campaign, we hope to uplift the lives of our fellow Filipinos, particularly the small farmers and fishers, and their families, who are in dire need of financial support for their agricultural livelihood activities,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
BCBMPC started as an association of small fishers of shrimps and crabs in 1987. By 1995, they were officially recognized by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) as an ARB-cooperative with 110 members. They were first granted a production loan by LANDBANK on October 12, 1998.
And exactly 21 years later, on October 12, 2019, LANDBANK has now partnered with BCBMPC as the Bank’s Agent Banking Partner in Las Nieves under the Agent Banking Program. The Cabadbaran City-based cooperative now boasts of 20,000 coop members, with total assets of P700 million.
The LANDBANK FI Forum is an initiative of the Bank in line with its financial inclusion thrust of serving unbanked communities across the country. Since its launch, LANDBANK has helped bring over 10,000 underserved Filipinos under the umbrella of formal financial services from 28 municipalities.
Las Nieves is the 5th stop of the FI Forums this year. A total of 3,252 farmers and fishers have already participated in the first five areas of the FI Forums namely, Sto. Niño, Cagayan; Rizal, Palawan; Libacao, Aklan; and Aloguinsan, Cebu. FI Forums will also be conducted in Mayantoc, Tarlac; Claveria, Misamis Oriental; and Polillo Islands, Quezon within the year.
During the event, LANDBANK featured modules on financial literacy to help farmers improve their income through the proper management of finances, as well as Bank products and services, particularly its direct lending programs for farmers.
These programs include the Accessible Funds For Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs), the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).
At the same time, BCBMPC received a ceremonial check from LANDBANK in the amount of Php200 million representing its loan from the Bank for relending to small farmers and fishers.
Joining LANDBANK President Borromeo at the event were Agusan del Norte Governor Dale B. Corvera, Las Nieves Mayor Avelina S. Rosales, LANDBANK Executive Vice President for Branch Banking Sector Joselito P. Gutierrez, East Mindanao Branches Group Head First Vice President Camilo C. Leyba, Mindanao Lending Group Head First Vice President Charlotte I. Conde, CARAGA Lending Center Head Department Manager Linbert Fajunio, and Butuan Branch Head Department Manager Augustus Manuel E. Mantua.
Meanwhile, farmers who availed of the ACEF loan program were also recognized during the event, namely Agapito A. Bacalso Sr. (palay production) and Violita T. Prandas (corn production).
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