LANDBANK delivers P2.5-B loans in support of rice farmers

May 28, 2024

Amid the devastating impact of El Niño on local harvests, Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) remains aggressive in extending financial support to rice farmers as total loans released through the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) reached P2.5 billion as of 30 April 2024. 

In partnership with Department of Agriculture (DA), LANDBANK has been successful in fully disbursing the P500-million allocated annual fund under ERCA-RCEF from 2019 to 2023. The Bank continues to make loans available to rice farmers and their cooperatives at affordable interest rates with minimum documentary requirements. 

"LANDBANK's support to the agriculture sector is crucial to ensuring food security in the country. We are committed to providing continued financial assistance to our rice farmers to help them sustain their operations and improve productivity, especially in the face of challenges including the El Niño phenomenon," said LANDBANK President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz.

The P2.5-billion loans released by LANDBANK under ERCA-RCEF benefitted over 15,400 individual rice farmers and 270 cooperatives with more than 21,300 member-beneficiaries, which were channeled to support palay production, milling and trading, re-lending, and acquisition of farm machineries. Under the Program, 98% of LANDBANK’s direct borrowers are individual rice farmers. 

Majority of the loan borrowers came from the rice producing provinces of Region 2, particularly Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino, with LANDBANK assisting 4,945 borrowers for a total of P612.4 million in loans released. It was followed by Region 3 with 2,243 borrowers for total loan releases amounting to P840.3 million. 

The state-run Bank also extended assistance to rice farmers in Visayas and Mindanao, including the provinces of Capiz, Leyte, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur. 

LANDBANK’s steadfast commitment to the agriculture sector supports the celebration of the Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month this May, which aims to recognize the invaluable contributions of farmers and fishers in nation-building and in achieving food security in the country.


LANDBANK is the largest development financial institution in the country promoting financial inclusion, digital transformation and sustainable development to benefit Filipinos. The Bank is present in all 82 provinces in the county, committed to provide accessible and responsive financing to drive the agriculture sector’s productivity and competitiveness, while championing sustainable development in the countryside.

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LANDBANK-backed co-op empowers rice, onion farmers in Nueva Ecija

TALAVERA, Nueva Ecija – For the longest time—despite working long, hard days in the field—rice farmer Ricardo Buenaventura struggled to improve his farm’s productivity and profitability due to lack of capital.  Ricardo could not pursue opportunities that would help expand his operations, such as acquiring a bigger farmland or investing in farm mechanization, with income that was just enough to sustain his family’s daily needs.  Determined to provide a better life for his family, Ricardo called on his fellow farmers facing similar challenges to work together to boost their production and income. They officially formed the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Agricultural Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC) in 1992 with 16 members, and Ricardo as their Chairman.  As a newly-established cooperative, seeking credit assistance to support their operations proved to be a hurdle seemingly too difficult to overcome. Lenders often turned them away or offered hefty interest rates they could not afford at the time.  They found the boost they needed when Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) granted the co-op their very first loan amounting to P120,000.00 to fund their working capital.  “Nagtiwala sa amin ang LANDBANK kahit nagsisimula pa lamang ang aming kooperatiba. Binigyan nila kami ng pagkakataon para palakasin ang aming koop at pagbutihin ang aming kabuhayan,” said Buenaventura.  Growing with LANDBANK The co-op invested in farm machinery and equipment such as hauling trucks and mechanical dryers, and was able to improve its production to around 70,000 - 100,000 sacks of rice per cropping season. That initial partnership has come a long way. LANDBANK has since increased its total loan to Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Agricultural PMPC to P1 billion to fund its expanded operations, which now include relending to finance the production of its members, rice and agri-inputs trading, diesel retailing, rice milling, onion cold storage rental and trading, and importation of milled rice and fertilizers produced by the co-op. LANDBANK has also financed the construction of warehouses and an onion cold storage, as well as the purchase of farm machinery and equipment to improve agricultural productivity.  From having only 16 members, Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Agricultural PMPC’s membership base has grown to 1,500 consisting of farmers producing rice, onion and other high-value crops, backyard poultry and livestock raisers, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) such as sari-sari store owners. "By empowering agricultural cooperatives, we are also enhancing small farmers’ access to credit, technology and other critical resources for growth. We look forward to partnering with more agri co-ops towards increasing productivity and ensuring food security in the country,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz. Uplifting lives of Nueva Ecija farmers With their fully-integrated services, the Nagkakaisang Magsasaka Agricultural PMPC is now able to support the growth requirements of its members throughout the entire rice production process, from planting to marketing and distribution.   Aside from financing the purchase of their members’ farm inputs, the co-op also serves as a ready market for their produce, buying wet palay at a fair price.  The co-op produces around 70,000 to 100,000 sacks of rice per cropping season under its own rice brand and distributes rice to consumers in Metro Manila, Quezon City, Marikina, Taguig, Parañaque, Bohol, Pampanga, and Tarlac.  The co-op is also diversifying its operations to provide more assistance to its onion farmer-members and strengthen the local onion value chain. Of their P1-billion LANDBANK loan, P112 million was allocated for the construction of an onion cold storage which has allowed their members to reduce agricultural losses and improve their income.  The co-op’s cold storage has a capacity of 60,000 bags of onions, allowing farmers to reduce agricultural losses and improve their income. “Sa tulong ng LANDBANK, marami na ang naipundar ng aming kooperatiba at naitulong sa palay farmers. Ngayon, nakakatulong na din kami sa onion farmers dito sa Nueva Ecija na palakasin ang kanilang produksyon,” said Ricardo.  Fully operational since April 2024, the co-op’s cold storage can accommodate up to 60,000 bags of onions and is expected to benefit onion growers from the municipalities of Bongabon, Guimba, Gabaldon, Llanera and Talavera.  The co-op also extends credit support to finance onion production and buys members’ produce at a more lucrative price compared to other markets in the Province in support of the local onion industry.  ABOUT LANDBANK LANDBANK is the largest development financial institution in the country serving the growth requirements of the local agriculture sector and the entire agri-value chain. Present in all 82 provinces in the country, the Bank is committed to providing accessible and affordable financial support towards boosting food security and advancing inclusive and sustainable development from countryside to countrywide.


LANDBANK launches ‘save and win’ promo for depositors

Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) launched a new promo that gives depositors the chance to win up to P1 million in cash and gadgets by growing their savings with the Bank.  Customers can earn e-raffle tickets and join the LANDBANK IpoNalo raffle promo by increasing their deposits in their LANDBANK accounts from 03 July 2024 to 31 January 2025.  LANDBANK will be selecting one (1) winner via electronic raffle for each major cash prize of P1 million for the grand prize and P500,000.00 and P250,000.00 as the 2nd and 3rd prizes, respectively.  Minor prizes also include iPhones, iPads and Macbook Airs, with 36 winners each.  The campaign aims to empower the Bank’s clients to practice responsible financial habits and build financial security to help achieve their financial goals faster.  “Through IpoNalo, we aim to help our clients build their savings through a broad range of secure and reliable deposit options, and possibly win prizes in the process. This is also our way of expressing our gratitude to our clients for their continued trust and loyalty,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz.  The LANDBANK IpoNalo promo is available for new and existing clients with LANDBANK accounts, such as regular passbook and ATM savings account, dollar savings account, regular and interest-bearing current account, Easy Savings Plus (ESP), OptiSaver Account, Green Growth Account, High Yield Savings Account (HYSA), and peso or dollar time deposit account.   Individual depositors will earn one (1) e-raffle ticket for every incremental average daily balance (ADB) of P100,000.00.  Meanwhile, private institutional depositors will earn one (1) e-raffle ticket for every incremental ADB of P1,000,000.00.  Participants must maintain their ADB until the end of the promo period on 31 January 2025 to remain eligible for the e-raffle draw on 14 February 2025.  The proceeds of the promo campaign will help fund the Bank's developmental programs and initiatives in favor of its mandated and priority economic sectors.  For complete details and mechanics on the LANDBANK IpoNalo promo, please visit the official LANDBANK website and social media channels, contact the nearest 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. ABOUT LANDBANK LANDBANK is the largest development financial institution in the country promoting financial inclusion and digital transformation to advance national development. Present in all 82 provinces in the county, the Bank is committed to provide accessible and responsive services to empower Filipinos towards a better future of inclusive and sustainable development from countryside to countrywide.


LANDBANK and Antonio’s partnership: Business recipe for success

From a single restaurant with 30 employees, Antonio "Chef Tony Boy" Escalante managed to translate his love for cooking into a culinary empire of multiple restaurants across the Philippines with support from LANDBANK. TAGAYTAY CITY – Just like having the right ingredients to create gastronomic experiences, to having an excellent team of chefs in the kitchen, it also takes the right people and partnerships to build a successful restaurant business. This adage rings true for Antonio "Chef Tony Boy" Escalante and the remarkable journey of the Antonio’s Group of Restaurants.  Chef Tony Boy started his career not in the kitchen but in dentistry school. He then traded the dental chair for the open skies, working as a cabin crew member for Philippine Airlines for nearly a decade. However, he was only able to spread his wings and fly when he finally decided to pursue his ultimate passion – cooking. His culinary journey began at the Regency Park Institute of TAFE in Adelaide, Australia, where he honed his skills through various kitchen jobs before returning home to the Philippines. In Manila, he spent three years refining his culinary skills at the prestigious Tivoli Grill in the Mandarin Oriental Manila. In 2002, Chef Tony Boy's culinary dream materialized with the opening of his namesake restaurant in Tagaytay City. The establishment quickly became a hallmark of fine dining, lauded for its exquisite cuisine and impeccable service.  Antonio’s Restaurant soon garnered numerous accolades as one of the country’s most celebrated restaurants. From 2007 to 2014, it consistently won the Best Continental Restaurant Award at Manila's Best Kept Restaurant Secrets Awards. From 2008 to 2013, it was the sole Filipino entry in the Miele Guide's Top 20 Southeast Asian restaurants, even reaching number five in the 2010 edition. Antonio's also secured the top 48th spot on Asia's Best Restaurants in 2015. Expanding the Culinary Vision with LANDBANK Chef Tony Boy wanted to expand Antonio’s operations beyond a single restaurant. In 2006, he established the Escanova Ventures which housed Antonio’s Restaurant and Breakfast at Antonio’s. He then embarked on a new venture in 2015 and put up “Balay Dako,” a restaurant offering traditional local fare and fusion cuisine with great views of Taal Lake. This required significant financial investment, with more capital needed to see plans for further expansion materialize.  In 2017, Chef Tony Boy turned to Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) for a P113-million loan. This was the start of a productive partnership that laid the groundwork for sustained growth and success. The LANDBANK support supplemented Escanova Ventures’ capital, which enabled the expansion of Antonio's Fine Dining and the renovation of Breakfast at Antonio's. The loan also helped build BP One Foods Inc. to spearhead the restaurant chain's expansion across Luzon.  The state-run Bank also remained a steadfast partner throughout crises, offering financial solutions and support when Antonio's Group was tested during the 2019 Taal Volcano eruption and the subsequent COVID-19 pandemic.  "At the height of the pandemic, LANDBANK was there for us. They provided deferments, helped us analyze our finances, and offered tailored products that perfectly addressed our needs," shared Chef Tony Boy. Basti Escalante led the pivot to distribution and sale of Antonio’s popular products in Metro Manila during the pandemic through Pedro the Grocer. He has since played a significant role focusing on the retail side of the business. From then on, Basti became an active partner, focusing on the retail and business side of the Antonio’s chain of restaurants. This father-and-son collaboration further strengthened the Antonio's Group, allowing them to adapt and thrive amidst challenging circumstances. Empowered by LANDBANK's support, Chef Tony Boy emerged from the pandemic with renewed confidence to expand further. This financial backing and trust allowed the Antonio's Group to navigate the crises and adapt to grow amidst uncertainties. "LANDBANK believed in us, our goals, and how we run our business. This trust, even during the pandemic, was a stamp of approval that gave us the confidence to expand our ventures," said Chef Tony Boy. Cooking a Culinary Legacy What started as a single restaurant with a team of 30 has blossomed into a culinary empire of almost a thousand employees. Today, the Antonio's Group of Restaurants continues to flourish, driven by Chef Tony Boy's passion, Basti's innovative spirit, and the unwavering support of LANDBANK. "With LANDBANK's help, their banking expertise, and the dedication of their employees, we have been able to expand into Metro Manila and other cities. They have been instrumental in realizing our expansion plans," said Chef Tony Boy. Fueled by LANDBANK's commitment to empowering Filipino entrepreneurs, Chef Tony Boy’s story transcends mere culinary success. It's a narrative of how the right ingredients, the right people, and the right partnerships can create a recipe for business excellence. ABOUT LANDBANK LANDBANK is the largest development financial institution in the country promoting inclusive and sustainable development to benefit Filipinos. The Bank is present in all 82 provinces in the country, committed to providing accessible and responsive financial support to key players and industries as part of its broader thrust of serving the nation.