The Land Bank of the Philippines is taking steps to make its direct lending programs more accessible and affordable for small farmers and fishers (SFFs), in line with its aggressive drive to intensify support to the sector.
“We understand that applying for loans can be intimidating, especially for small farmers and fishers, so we have started making basic improvements in our processes to make it easier for them to avail of loans,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
Among the basic enhancements which the Bank made is the simplification of the loan application form, which has been condensed into one document – from what used to be three separate documents (i.e. Application Form, Sworn Statement/Attestation, and Data Privacy Consent). Completing the form is also now more straightforward with mostly tick boxes, to make it easier for farmers and fishers. The promissory note which used to be a 14-page document has also been simplified and shortened to one page.
Basic documentary requirements have likewise been trimmed down. SFF borrowers of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) Lending Program, for instance, will only need to submit a loan application form, a simple farm plan, and barangay clearance.
The Bank also made its programs more affordable by standardizing the interest rates at 5% per annum for most direct lending programs for SFFs. These include the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs) Program, which provides loans to finance production of rice, corn, and high-value crops, as well as the acquisition of small farm implements.
Retail lending programs for SFFs that the Bank administers for the Department of Agriculture also now have interest rates fixed at 2% p.a. These include the ACEF Lending Program and the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA) funded by the Sugar Regulatory Administration.
Also available at an interest rate of 2% p.a. is the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF). Under the Program, LANDBANK will lend up to P500 million annually for the next six years to rice farmers registered in the Registry System on Basic Sectors in Agriculture or RSBSA, and to DA-accredited cooperatives. For on-lending by cooperatives under ERCA-RCEF, interest rate is at 0% p.a., as long as effective pass-on rate to end borrowers is not higher than 6% p.a.
Processing of loan applications is also quicker – with average turn-around time of just one day as against the maximum 10-days commitment to the Governance Commission for GOCCs. This is provided that the borrower submitted complete documents and credit/background investigation is favourable.
“This is just the beginning as we are actively looking for ways to further improve the loan application process for our farmer and fisher borrowers. Through these efforts, we hope to encourage them to go to LANDBANK instead of borrowing from informal lenders who charge significantly higher rates,” Borromeo added.
LANDBANK awaits green light to resume fuel subsidy distribution
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) assures the fast and timely crediting of fuel subsidies and distribution of cash cards to intended transport beneficiaries nationwide once the prohibition to distribute in compliance to the election spending ban is lifted. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is currently working on the exemption from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to resume the distribution under the Fuel Subsidy Program (FSP). Pursuant to Comelec Resolution 10944, the releasing, disbursing or spending of public funds for social welfare projects are prohibited from September 15 to October 30, 2023 in relation to the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections next month.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK remits P50B investment in Maharlika
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) its ₱50-billion contribution to the Maharlika Investment Corporation (MIC) as mandated by Republic Act No. 11954 which establishes the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), the first Philippine sovereign wealth fund aimed at boosting the country’s economic growth. Finance Secretary and LANDBANK Chairman Benjamin E. Diokno said that the Bank’s ₱50-billion investment to the MIF has already been settled with the BTr on Thursday, 14 September 2023, following the enactment of the MIF enabling law and the issuance of its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) by the BTr. "We are witnessing a growing interest for investments in the MIF from multilateral financial institutions and foreign investors. With the regulatory requirements in place, and after securing the seed capital from state-run institutions, we are confident that the Fund will be operational by yearend,” said Secretary Diokno. At the same time, LANDBANK President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz said the law creating the MIF has enough safeguards to protect the Bank’s invested funds. “The MIF law has put in place adequate safety nets to ensure full disclosure and transparency in the management of the Fund, as well as the integrity and professionalism of the management team that will be entrusted to lead the Maharlika Investment Corporation,” President Ortiz said. On 18 July 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. signed into law Republic Act No. 11954, followed by the BTr’s issuance of the IRR a month later on 28 August 2023. The law authorizes LANDBANK and the national government to provide ₱50 billion each as initial fund capital, while the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will contribute another ₱25 billion.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK, Malungon LGU link up for digital payments
(front) Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino (2nd from right), Vice Mayor Mariano S. Escalada, Jr. (rightmost), Municipal Treasurer Eva Emejas (leftmost), and LANDBANK Assistant Vice President Jojo Alcover (3rd from right) lead the launching of the partnership for the use of the LANDBANK Link.BizPortal, alongside other local government officials and officers. MALUNGON, Sarangani Province – Residents and business entrepreneurs from this municipality can now pay for dues to the local government faster online through the digital payment facility of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). The Municipal Government of Malungon has partnered with the state-owned Bank for the integration of the LANDBANK Link.BizPortal to its own website, which offers a wide range of local public services. Through the Link.BizPortal, clients can now pay for local fees, such as business permits and realty taxes, at their own convenience and even at the comfort of their homes. “LANDBANK’s digital banking solutions advances the National Government’s digital and financial inclusion agenda in line with its expanded mandate of serving the nation,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz. Malungon Mayor Maria Theresa Constantino extended her appreciation to LANDBANK’s support to accelerate the municipality’s digitalization journey. “This is the first in Sarangani to fully implement online payments. So, tell your relatives, your neighbors, that we have a new added service to make it more convenient for the people of Malungon to pay their taxes. We thank LANDBANK in bringing the service closer to every home in Malungon,” said Mayor Constantino. The LANDBANK Link.BizPortal is a digital facility that allows clients to pay for products and services via the internet from both government and private institutions. For the first six months of the year, the LANDBANK Link.BizPortal has facilitated 4 million transactions with value of P6 billion. Of its total 1,326 partner merchants, the Portal has 978 government partners of which 180 have been newly-onboarded this year. LANDBANK is celebrating its 60th anniversary, representing six decades of uplifting lives, empowering communities, and serving the nation — all in pursuit of an inclusive and sustainable economy.LEARN MORE