Virginia Farms Inc. in Cebu has significantly expanded its swine business operations in the last eight years backed by various loans provided by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). The 52-year-old company currently operates a 360-hectare farm and a pork retail chain with 51 outlets.
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – From a humble backyard venture that started in 1968, Cebu-based Virginia Farms Inc. (VFI) is now regarded as the oldest and largest integrated farm-to-pork business in Central Visayas.
With its 360-hectare farm in the town of Asturias and a pork retail chain with 51 outlets, VFI has been helping address the meat requirements in Luzon since last year as pork growers there have been largely affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. The company was able to ship a total of 10,760 hogs last year and continues to ship frozen carcasses weekly to the region.
The growth of VFI, specifically in the last eight (8) years, has been supported by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) through its Cebu North Lending Center, which financed the expansion of the company’s business operations and the construction of modern facilities.
VFI President Rolando E. Tambago is optimistic that recent investments will allow the company to continue supplying Luzon with ASF-free pork.
“With the current situation of the pork industry, there’s a good opportunity for us here in the Visayas to expand and meet the gap of pork supply in other areas. I hope that LANDBANK will continue to support us in our plans to expand and grow our business further, as we envision to be a major supplier of quality pork in the Philippines,” said Mr. Tambago.
In 2013, VFI first availed of a term loan from LANDBANK to finance the construction of piggery buildings in its site in Asturias. The loan was also used to purchase refrigeration equipment for its pork retail chain, The Pork Shop.
As the company decided to expand its piggery operations, it availed of another term loan from the Bank in 2014 to develop additional piggery houses and acquire boars and gilts to improve its genetic stock.
With its growing operations expanding rapidly and retail branches opening one after another, VFI once again turned to LANDBANK in 2015 and in 2018 to finance the development of meat cutting and slaughterhouse facilities.
Established in 2016, the meat cutting facility can process up to 1,000 hogs daily. Meanwhile, the modern slaughterhouse, which was inaugurated in 2019, can accommodate up to 1,000 heads per day at a processing rate of 100 heads per hour.
VFI also availed of a short term loan from LANDBANK in 2020 as a working capital for the expansion of The Pork Shop. Since its inception in 2008, this retail business has grown significantly, with outlets now spread across Cebu, Iloilo, and Biliran.
"LANDBANK remains steadfast in supporting the agriculture sector, including the recovery of our local swine industry. We will continue to extend credit assistance to hog raisers as we contribute to ensuring food security in the country," said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
As of end-2020, LANDBANK has extended a total of P237.62 billion in outstanding loans to the agriculture sector, with P142.75 billion representing loans to small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises.
In terms of economic activity, P37.48 billion out of the Bank’s total agriculture loan portfolio financed livestock projects, which includes P16.86 billion for the piggery industry.
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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