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LANDBANK intensifies direct lending programs to individual farmers

In its continuing effort to intensify support to the country’s agriculture sector, Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has started implementing a major directional shift in its lending programs to the individual small farmers and fishers. LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said the Bank aggressively pursued three (3) legislated lending programs last year in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) that directly benefitted individual farmers. “We have taken a major shift of lending directly to farmers especially for programs which we are jointly implementing with other government agencies, particularly the Department of Agriculture,” said President Borromeo. One of the DA programs that LANDBANK supported in 2019 was the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF), which the Bank implemented in line with the Rice Tarrification Law, with P358.25 million in loans released to 7,468 farmers. LANDBANK also aggressively offered farmers financial support through the DA’s Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) lending program, which resulted to a significant increase in loans from P154.3 million in June 2019 to P1.04 billion as of yearend 2019, benefiting more than 7,000 farmers. Likewise, the implementation of the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA) for individual sugarcane farmers, block farms, and common service centers also recorded an increase in 2019, with loans doubling to P111.37 million, assisting 992 farmers. Last year, LANDBANK intensified its lending to agriculture with loans reaching P236.31 billion, exceeding its yearend target of P231.25 billion. The bank also exceeded the number of farmers and fishers assisted, registering 1,032,982 or 103% of its yearend target of one million.

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LANDBANK introduces new lending programs for rice farmers, agri-value chain players

State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) continued to intensify its support to the agriculture sector as it introduced seven (7) new agri-lending programs which include programs initiated by the Department of Agriculture (DA) as a direct response to the rice crisis. “All these new lending facilities, along with the other existing programs, will help address the specific requirements of the various players in the agriculture sector,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. The first special lending program launched in 2019 was the P10-billion PAlay aLAY sa Magsasaka ng Lalawigan (PALAY ng Lalawigan) Program to assist rice-producing provinces by enabling local government units (LGUs) to procure palay produced by their local farmers, as well as to acquire farm machineries and post-harvest facilities. Last year, a total of P3.2 billion in loans was approved for the Provinces of Isabela, Nueva Ecija and Camarines Sur. The second loan program was the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid Program) under the DA, which extended credit assistance to small farmers tilling one (1) hectare of land and below. Under the Program, a total of P2.07 billion in loans were provided as immediate financial assistance to 136,648 farmers nationwide. The DA and LANDBANK also launched the Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program, an unconditional cash transfer program which aims to give P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers tilling 0.5 to 2 hectares of land in 33 provinces nationwide. As of February 3, 2020, a total of 5,822 LANDBANK Cash Cards totalling more than P29 million in cash assistance have been distributed to rice farmers in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Nueva Ecija, Zamboanga del Sur, North Cotabato, Bataan and Pampanga. LANDBANK also partnered with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to introduce the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Benefeciaries (AFFORD-ARBs) Program which provided loans to finance the production of rice, corn, high-value crops, as well as farm implements. Outstanding loans for this Program in 2019 reached P100.86 million, which was availed by 523 farmer-borrowers and a cooperative. The three (3) other new programs recently launched by the Bank are the Sulong Saka Program promoting high value crops production, the Sustainable Aquaculture Lending Program (SALP) to finance projects within the value chain of fishery, mariculture and aquaculture, and the Greenhouse Farming System Financing Program to help farmers, cooperatives and agri-entrepreneurs shift to modern farming by adopting the greenhouse farming technology.

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LANDBANK supports Dinagyang Festival 2020

LANDBANK West Visayas Branches Group Head First Vice President Delma O. Bandiola along with Corporate Affairs Department Head Assistant Vice President Vivian M. Cañonero, and field unit officers and employees in Panay area joined the Festive Parade as part of the celebration of the Dinagyang Festival 2020.   ILOILO CITY – Dinagyang Festival, once hailed as the “Best Tourism Event in the Philippines”, further upped its ante this year with the introduction of innovations that made it more inclusive and immersive for both locals and tourists. Among the novelties in Dinagyang 2020 are: 1) The 360-degree Ati Tribe dance competition where the Ati tribe dancers perform in an arena-type stadium while spectators surround them; 2) The Dagyang Calle Real to encourage the residents join in the traditional “sadsad” or community street dancing, and; 3) An art festival held at the historic Iloilo Esplanade to stay true to this year’s theme, “Perfect Vision: Celebrating the Ilonggo spirit in honor of Señor Santo Niño.” Derived from the Hiligaynon term revelry or merrymaking, Dinagyang celebrates the historical event when a replica of the Señor Santo Niño was first brought to Iloilo City from Cebu City by the San Jose Parish. Addressing the audience during the Festival, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas expressed his gratitude to everyone who helped put up the grandest Dinagyang Festival celebration to date, including the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). With LANDBANK being a major sponsor in Dinagyang 2020, some LANDBANK personnel in Panay area, led by West Visayas Branches Group Head First Vice President Delma O. Bandiola together with Assistant Vice President Vivian M. Cañonero of the LANDBANK Corporate Affairs Department, joined the Festive Parade. The LANDBANK Iloilo City Branch also put up a booth to accommodate inquiries from potential clients and to exhibit the products and services of the Bank to the festival goers. “We laud the City Government of Iloilo, led by Mayor Jerry Treñas, and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation, Inc. for the safe and successful celebration of Dinagyang 2020.  We look forward to strengthening our partnership and contributing to the City Government’s development. Through this, we will be able to boost our assistance to the farmers and fishers in the City and the Province of Iloilo,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo The City and the Province of Iloilo are among the valued clients of LANDBANK in Western Visayas. The partnership with these government institutions benefited the Bank’s priority sectors, with total loan releases of P1.88B to small farmers and fishers in the Province as of end-December 2019. Through the years, LANDBANK has solidified its presence not only in Iloilo City but in the whole province as well. The Bank has 10 branches and one (1) LANDBANK Easy Access Facility (LEAF) complemented by 40 ATMs and four (4) CDMs in the province to cater to the banking needs of the Ilonggos. The Bank also conducted a Financial Inclusion Caravan in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo in 2017 to bring banking services to the unbanked and underserved in the area. LANDBANK is looking at further strengthening this partnership through development and infrastructure projects that the City Government can pursue with the Bank.

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LANDBANK opens first commercial bank in Masinloc; 4th branch in Zambales

LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo (center), Zambales Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane, Jr. (4th from right), and Masinloc Mayor Arsenia J. Lim (3rd from left) lead the ribbon cutting at the inauguration of the LANDBANK Masinloc Branch in Brgy. Inhobol, Masinloc, Zambales. Joining them are Masinloc Vice-Mayor Pedro O. Enciso (2nd form right), LANDBANK offiicals namely (from L-R) Zambales Lending Center Department Manager Ma. Marita S. San Diego, Central Luzon Branches Group First Vice President Sylvia C. Lim, Masinloc Branch Head Ruth B. Panes, Branch Banking Sector Head Executive Vice President Julio D. Climaco, Jr., and Iba Branch Department Manager Emma M. Galvez. In line with its aggressive efforts to promote financial inclusion especially to the unbanked and underserved areas in the country, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) officially inaugurated its new branch in Masinloc, Zambales—the first commercial bank in the 1st class municipality. The Masinloc Branch will provide access to financial services and credit assistance to clients in the area, including neighboring municipalities of Candelaria and Sta. Cruz, covering a total of 54 barangays. This is the 4th LANDBANK branch in the province of Zambales, complementing its operations in Iba, Subic, and Olongapo City. LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo led the inauguration alongside Zambales Governor Hermogenes E. Ebdane Jr. and Masinloc Mayor Arsenia J. Lim. They were joined by Masinloc Vice-Mayor Pedro O. Enciso and LANDBANK officials, namely Branch Banking Sector Head Executive Vice President Julio D. Climaco, Jr., Central Luzon Branches Group First Vice President Sylvia C. Lim, Zambales Lending Center Department Manager Ma. Marita S. San Diego, Iba Branch Department Manager Emma M. Galvez, and Masinloc Branch Head Ruth B. Panes. “LANDBANK’s expanding reach in Zambales is a testament to our commitment to support the economic growth of the province. The opening of the Masinloc Branch is also consistent with our inclusive development thrust of establishing additional touchpoints for our priority sectors—the farmers and fishers who are in need of our services the most,” President Borromeo said. LANDBANK is currently servicing more than 10,000 farmers and fishers in the province engaged in rice production, trading, and fishing. Aside from having two Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), the Masinloc Branch also has a Digital Banking Corner installed with the Digital Onboarding System (DOBS), designed to help clients to open new accounts in just 10 to 15 minutes. Clients will also have access to the LANDBANK Link.Biz Portal which facilitates online payments for taxes, application fees, and other dues in 700-enrolled public and private institutions. The Masinloc Branch is the first LANDBANK branch inaugurated this year, to be followed by branches in Mangatarem and Umingan in Pangasinan, Tangub in Misamis Occidental, and Tubigon in Bohol. LANDBANK has a network of 409 branches, 46 lending centers, 2,195 ATMs, and 160 Cash Deposit Machines nationwide.

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LANDBANK loan to agriculture reach P236B in 2019; assists over 1M farmers

LANDBANK intensified its lending to agriculture with loans reaching P236.31 billion last year, exceeding its yearend target of P231.25 billion. Of this amount, P44.82 billion were outstanding loans to small farmers, fishers, cooperatives, and farmers associations, while P191.49 billion were loans to other players in the agri-business value chain. The bank also exceeded the number of farmers and fishers assisted, registering 1,032,982 or 103% of its yearend target of one million, with significant increase in the number of farmers from the provinces of Maguindanao, Palawan, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and Nueva Vizcaya. LANDBANK will target to assist an additional one million new farmers and fishers for a total of 2 million this year, 2.5 million in 2021, and 3 million in 2022.  “Last year, President Duterte directed LANDBANK to do more for agriculture. We responded  to the President’s directive by intensifying assistance to the sector, particularly in providing financing interventions to improve farmers’ income and boost productivity,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.    Lending Programs To reach more farmers, LANDBANK  adopted a direct lending approach especially for programs which it jointly implemented with the Department of Agriculture (DA). One such program is the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF) implemented in line with the Rice Tarrifcation Law. In 2019, LANDBANK released P358.25 million in loans to 7,468 farmers. For the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF), cumulative releases amounted to P1.04 billion as of end-2019 benefitting more than 7,000 farmers and fishers. Another initiative is the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers Program (SURE Aid), which extends credit assistance to small farmers affected by the drop in palay prices. Under the program, P2.07 billion in loans was released to extend immediate financial assistance to 136,648 farmers nationwide. In addition, the implementation of the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act (SCP-SIDA) for individual sugarcane farmers and block farms, recorded loan releases of P111.37 million directed towards 992 beneficiaries. Meanwhile, in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), LANDBANK introduced the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries which provided loans for production of rice, corn, high-value crops as well as for farm implements. Outstanding loans reached P100.86 million with 523 beneficiaries. Another program for ARBs is the Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development with P580 million loans released to 7,759 agrarian reform beneficiaries. LANDBANK remains as the biggest credit provider to small farmers and fishers and local government units, and the biggest lender to microenterprises and SMEs among government financial institutions.

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LANDBANK, CBT MPC ink P135M deal to modernize ferry boats in Boracay

(Left photo) Caticlan Boracay Transport Mulit-Purpose Cooperative (CBT MPC) Chairman Godofredo B. Sadiasa (center) and LANDBANK Agricultural Development and Lending Sector Head Executive Vice President Liduvino S. Geron (second from right) led the signing of the P135 million-worth loan under the Ferry Boat Inclusive Program (FBIP) for the modernization of the co-op’s fleet of vessels. Also present in the signing are Vice Chairperson Anabelle T. Dalinog (second from left), Treasurer Paulino O. Dela Torre (leftmost) and LANDBANK Capiz Lending Center Head Giovani T. Baoy (rightmost). (Right photo) LANDBANK officials conduct an inspection of a sample fiber-glass boat to be procured by CBT MPC under the loan program with the Bank. As part of the Government’s thrust to help facilitate economic activities through modern ferry boats, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Caticlan Boracay Transport Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CBT MPC) signed a P135-million loan agreement to replace the cooperative’s existing wooden boats to fiber glass. CBT MPC is the principal ferry boat operator plying the Caticlan-Boracay route. However, among their current fleet of 58 vessels, only 9 are steel-hulled or made of fiberglass. Under LANDBANK’s Ferry Boat Inclusive Program (FBIP), the co-op availed of loan to finance the acquisition of brand new and modern ferry boats as replacement to their wooden hulled vessels that are no longer eligible for franchise under the new Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) rules. Additionally, this partnership will help boat-owners and boatmen of CBT MPC to augment their income and provide safer and more comfortable ride for Boracay tourists, residents, and laborers alike. It will also generate more employment in the community as each modern passenger boat can employ a crew of four as compared to wooden boats with only two. LANDBANK Agricultural Development and Lending Sector Head Executive Vice President Liduvino S. Geron and CBT MPC Chairman Godofredo B. Sadiasa led the signing together with the cooperative’s Vice Chairperson Anabelle T. Dalinog, Treasurer Paulino O. Dela Torre, with the Bank’s Capiz Lending Center Head Giovani T. Baoy and employees from Kalibo Satellite Office. “We would like to thank LANDBANK for this opportunity and we will never forget this partnership. This will be a springboard for a greater CBT MPC probably in the next twenty years,” Sadiasa said. FBIP is part of the Bank’s support to Department of Transportation’s modernization program. Aside from bridging the gap of socio-economic growth among islands, the Bank is also looking to boost the domestic tourism through the acquisition of modern passenger boats as well. “We are committed to nourishing the countryside and promoting financial inclusivity, which includes assisting in the movement of commodities, products, and people that are reliant on maritime transport,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.   Riding the waves through more robust vessels FBIP was first launched in 2017 then expanded in 2019 to cater to more interested clients currently involved and looking to be involved in the ferry boat business. With FBIP, the Bank hopes to contribute to the improvement of the agricultural value chain by ushering in safe delivery of fresh goods to the market that require inter-island transportation, while also promoting a modern maritime fleet for the safety and convenience of agri-aqua development players in the country. Small boat owners, cooperatives, and corporations can avail of this financing Program provided that they will pass the franchising policy set by MARINA—the country’s maritime authority tasked to uphold safe domestic ferry travels. Aside from the approval of franchising policy, interested parties should also be compliant with the boat safety standards set by MARINA. Interested borrowers can contact LANDBANK’s 24/7 customer service hotline at (02) 405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Fee 1-800-10-405-7000, for more information.

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BTr, LANDBANK offer 23rd Retail Treasury Bonds for financial inclusion, literacy

National Treasurer Rosalia V. De Leon (center) leads the launching of the 23rd issuance of the Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB 23). She is joined by LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo (2nd from right), (from L-R) First Metro Investment Corporation President Rabboni Francis Arjonillo, Security Bank Capital Corporation Managing Director Virgilio O. Chua, DBP President and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa, and BDO Capital and Investment Corporation President Eduardo V. Francisco. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is selling to the general investing public the Bureau of Treasury’s (BTr) 23rd tranche of the Retail Treasury Bonds (RTB 23), aligned with the National Government’s goal of promoting financial inclusion and literacy in the country. Interested investors may purchase RTB 23 with a minimum investment of only P5,000 and in integral multiples thereafter, with an annual fixed interest rate of 4.375% within a 3-year term. The public offer period is currently ongoing until February 6, 2020. LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo expressed optimism in drawing a warm public reception for RTB 23, following the highly successful run of RTB 22 and the Premyo Bonds last year. “Our new offering of RTB 23 is a direct response to the growing public demand for safe, affordable, and higher-yielding investment products. Likewise, it reflects the Government’s continuous commitment towards fostering financial inclusivity among Filipino families, where everyone is invited to take part in securing a more financially stable future,” President Borromeo said during the official launch of RTB 23 last January 28. Consistent with the general design of RTBs, RTB 23 caters to the financial capacity of individual investors, referred to as retail investors, to access low-cost, low-risk, and short-term investments which provide higher returns than time deposits. The proceeds generated from RTBs are utilized by the National Government to help fund major socioeconomic projects and initiatives. This year, the BTr is also introducing an Exchange Offer program wherein holders of RTB 3-08, issued on April 11, 2017 and maturing on April 11, 2020, will be allowed to exchange and reinvest their bond holdings for the latest RTB 23 offering at no cost and on improved terms. RTB 23 made more accessible LANDBANK account holders here and abroad can invest in RTB 23 with ease and convenience via online purchase. This is possible through the first-ever Retail Treasury Bond (RTB) Online Facility launched by the BTr in partnership with LANDBANK last year. The RTB Online Facility automates the buying process through an online order form that is linked to LANDBANK Link.Biz Portal—an internet-based payment channel designed to accept payment of fees, dues, and charges from clients of enrolled merchants. Interested investors can avail of RTB 23 until February 6 by logging on to the BTr’s official website (www.treasury.gov.ph) or by visiting the nearest LANDBANK Branch.

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LANDBANK donates to LGUs affected by Taal Volcano, expands coverage of calamity rehab loan program

Batangas Governor Hermilando I. Mandanas (8th from left) receives a check from LANDBANK Batangas City Branch Manager Assistant Vice President Remedios M. Manay (7th from left) as part of the Bank’s financial support to a total of 44 local government units (LGUs) affected by the recent eruption of Taal Volcano. They are joined by members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the Province of Batangas. State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) is doing its share to help ease the burden of local government units (LGUs) affected by the recent eruptive activities of Taal Volcano by donating financial assistance to calamity-stricken LGUs for their respective relief operations. The Bank has provided a total of Php3.3 million in financial assistance to 44 LGUs in the Provinces of Batangas, Cavite and Laguna. The amount of donated funds varied depending on the extent of damage sustained by the LGU, in accordance with the Bank’s existing policies on donations. “More than 150,000 residents have been displaced in communities surrounding Taal Volcano. They are now housed in hundreds of evacuation centers in nearby cities and municipalities. With the volume of evacuees, LGUs hosting these centers need all the help they can get. This is our way of supporting the LGUs, which are among the Bank’s most valued clients,” said President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. In Batangas, the Provincial Government led the recipients of the donation, together with the cities of Batangas, Lipa and Tanauan. Also receiving support were the municipalities of Agoncillo, Lemery, San Nicolas, Mataas na Kahoy, Balete, Talisay, Laurel, Taal, Cuenca, Calaca, Sta. Teresita, Bauan, Mabini, Alitagtag, Malvar, Sto. Tomas, San Luis, San Jose, Balayan, San Pascual, Nasugbu, Ibaan, Rosario, Tuy, San Juan, Lian, Padre Garcia, Calatagan, and Taysan. The Bank also donated to the cities of Cabuyao, Sta. Rosa, Biñan, San Pedro and Calamba in Laguna, and is expected to donate within the week to the Provincial Government of Cavite, the City of Tagaytay, and the municipalities of Alfonso, Amadeo, Indang and Mendez. Earlier, LANDBANK announced it has expanded its Calamity Rehabilitation Support (CARES) Program to provide financial support to more sectors severely affected by natural calamities such as the eruption of Taal Volcano, man-made disasters like armed conflicts, and viral infection outbreaks such as the African Swine Fever (ASF). Under the enhanced CARES Program, individual small farmers and fishers, livestock raisers, large agri-enterprises (LAEs), salaried workers, and academic institutions such as schools, universities and colleges, have been added as eligible borrowers. This complements the existing eligible borrowers under the Program, namely, LGUs, disaster-affected home owners, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), cooperatives, non-government organizations (NGOs), and partner financial institutions (PFIs) such as rural banks. The Program consists of two types of credit assistance—rehabilitation/reconstruction credit program and rehabilitation through loan restructuring—which may be used for the repair of damaged facilities, construction or acquisition of new facilities and equipment, repair or purchase of housing units, working capital for agriculture production, and as capital for a lending facility of cooperatives, SMEs and NGOs for home and livelihood financing. Meanwhile, LANDBANK’s Lemery Branch remains closed until further notice. However, its clients may transact with the Bank through the LANDBANK Bauan Branch or at any branch located in Batangas.

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LANDBANK breaches P2 trillion mark in assets in 2019

The year 2019 turned out to be a landmark year for the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) as it breached the P2 trillion mark in assets—a new record for the state-owned universal Bank.   LANDBANK posted total assets of P2.03 trillion last year, up by 8% or P157.2 bilion from 2018. This was propelled by deposits amounting to P1.78 trillion which recorded an uptick of 8% or P127.23 billion year-on-year.   Likewise, the Bank’s net income also grew by 20% to P18.51 billion from P15.48 billion. This translates to a return on equity of 13.19% which is above the industry average of 10.38% as of September 2019.   Meanwhile, capital significantly rose to P149 billion, 13% or P17.38 billion more than the P131.62 billion posted in 2018.   “Reaching this new milestone in assets, including consistent growth in all financial fronts, has made 2019 a banner year for LANDBANK. More importantly, we are banking on this performance to enable us to create a bigger impact in helping the agriculture sector grow this year. We look to build on this momentum to intensify and further expand support to our priority sectors, our small farmers and fishers in the countryside,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said.   LANDBANK is the biggest credit provider to small farmers and fishers, and local government units, and the biggest lender to microenterprises and SMEs among government financial institutions.

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LANDBANK, CDA ink new partnership for unbanked cooperatives

LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo (3rd from right) and Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Orlando R. Ravanera (2nd from right) led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Financial Inclusion Through Cooperatives (FIT-Coop) Program that will support unbanked and underserved micro and small cooperatives all over the country. This was witnessed by LANDBANK Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Head Executive Vice President Liduvino S. Geron (leftmost) and CDA Executive Director Ray R. Elevazo (rightmost).    The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) have joined hands anew for the Financial Inclusion Through Cooperatives (FIT-Coop) Program, an initiative that will provide capacity-building support to micro and small cooperatives in unbanked and underserved areas nationwide.   LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo and CDA Chairman Orlando R. Ravanera led the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), together with CDA Executive Director Ray R. Elevazo and LANDBANK Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Head Executive Vice President Liduvino S. Geron.   Through the FIT-Coop Program, a total of 220 cooperatives with more than 31,000 members from 92 unbanked municipalities all over the country will undergo financial literacy trainings that would better prepare them to access formal credit assistance.   “The signing of this MOA for the FIT-Coop Program is a momentous and historical event— a great breakthrough in putting those in the margins into the mainstream of the development process. This will also be a great leap forward for CDA to fulfill its mandate to promote the viability and growth of cooperatives as instruments of social justice and economic development,” CDA Chairman Ravanera said.   LANDBANK President Borromeo said the FIT-Coop Program is also a clear display of the Bank’s continuous commitment to reach the smallest cooperatives in the most far-flung areas and empower them to become catalysts for inclusive growth in the countryside.   “LANDBANK is no stranger to cooperativism. We know that a lot more can be done if we collaborate with them. Communities have transformed into very progressive local economies because of cooperatives. The crucial thing is we strengthen the weak micro and small cooperatives so that they can grow and access formal lending programs,” President Borromeo said.   Under the FIT-Coop Program, assesment tools from both CDA and LANDBANK were utilized to develop the Cooperative Assessment Tool—an instrument which will measure a cooperative’s maturity level and readiness for different support services.   In addition, an Environmental Mapping or Scanning Tool was likewise devised to identify necessary but missing facilities in the community which hamper the cooperative’s growth and development.   The CDA and LANDBANK will then refer the data collected from these tools to relevant government agencies to further help cooperatives thru possible developmental interventions. President Borromeo added that this strategy is very much aligned with the Duterte Administration’s “whole-of-government approach”, wherein relevant government agencies collaborate and synergize efforts to achieve more significant results.

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LANDBANK, CHED-UniFAST team-up for student subsidy program

LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo and CHED and UniFAST Governing Board Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III lead the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement for the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) Program. With them were (L-R) Association of Local Colleges and Universities (ALCU) Vice President Elena E. Presnedi, UniFAST OIC Executive Director Atty. Carmelita Yadao-Sison, and LANDBANK Branch Banking Sector OIC, Senior Vice President Ramon R. Monteloyola. In line with its thrust of extending access to formal banking services, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has partnered with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST) to provide efficient and convenient financial support to poor but deserving students. LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo and CHED and UniFAST Governing Board Chairman J. Prospero de Vera III formally signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to co-implement the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) Program last December 27 at the Centro Escolar University in Manila.   Under the TES Program, more than 400,000 student-grantees from public and private higher education institutions nationwide will be issued LANDBANK Cash Cards for their monthly stipends to cover expenses for supplies, transportation, room and board, and other personal and school needs. The collaboration is aligned with LANDBANK’s continuous commitment to promote financial inclusion and widen access to banking facilities by reaching more underserved Filipinos all over the country. “Through the use of our LANDBANK Cash Cards, students will enjoy the ease and convenience of receiving their monthly allowances via our automated teller machines (ATMs) and branches nearest them. More importantly, this ensures the safe and efficient delivery of their stipends for school needs and education-related expenses on time and without any delays,” President Borromeo said. Student-beneficiaries under the TES Program will be able to access their allowances via LANDBANK’s network of 2,195 ATMs and 409 branches nationwide, as well as point-of-sale (POS) facilities. In addition, student-beneficiaries are qualified to use LANDBANK’s phone banking and online banking facilities and services for easier and faster financial transactions. “Rest assured that we will do our share to make this Program successful. We are one with CHED and UniFAST in helping provide inclusive and quality education that will help shape the lives of the country’s future generations,” President Borromeo added. LANDBANK will receive the list of student-beneficiaries from UniFAST, which includes beneficiaries under the ongoing Expanded Students’ Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) and students belonging to poor or near-poor households based on the Listahanan 2.0 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), among others.   The TES Program forms part of the implementation of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act.

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