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LANDBANK makes loans more accessible, affordable for farmers, fishers


October 6, 2019

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.

More affordable

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.

Faster

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.


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