LANDBANK, gov’t partners spark hope for Antique student

Hope shines brightest in the dark – As darkness falls, college student Marvie Ann Berdin of Laua-an, Antique, relies on the dim light of a gas lamp as she completes her schoolwork. (Photo courtesy of Marvie Ann Berdin)

LAUA-AN, Antique – In this rural town, the future shines bright for 21-year-old college
student Marvie Ann Berdin.

Only a few years away from attaining her dream of becoming a civil engineer, Marvie
continues to brave through numerous hardships and financial difficulties, thanks to the
support she receives from various government agencies.

Marvie has had to face life’s challenges at a young age, with unemployed parents who
could barely make ends meet, let alone finance the education of their eight children.
But Marvie was not deterred from attending elementary school, even if it meant
travelling by foot for two hours and crossing a river every day. She also took on several
jobs to support her education, including being a part-time house helper and a student

Augmenting their family income for daily expenses and medication for her ill father,
Marvie’s mother, Maricel, regularly receives government subsidy as a beneficiary of the

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program of the Department of Social Welfare and
Development (DSWD).

When previously, Maricel had to wait in line at the covered court in their town for almost
the entire day just to get the cash aid during payouts, digital innovation has now made
it easier for her to receive the subsidy.

Since receiving a prepaid card from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK),
Maricel has been heading to the nearest LANDBANK Branch in San Jose, Antique, to
withdraw the cash subsidy conveniently and safely in just a few minutes.

“Dahil hindi marunong si mama mag-withdraw sa ATM, mas pinipili niya na mag-
withdraw over-the-counter sa LANDBANK Branch. Palagi siyang inaalalayan ng mga staff
doon,” Marvie narrates.

Recently, Maricel prefers to cash-out their subsidy from the Barbaza Multi-Purpose
Cooperative, an Agent Banking Partner operating on behalf of LANDBANK, which caters
to their town.

Apart from cash withdrawal from LANDBANK Branches and ATMs, CCT beneficiaries can
also use the LANDBANK CCT Prepaid Cards to make cashless purchases in groceries and
drugstores, among others.

The state-run Bank also recently converted the LANDBANK CCT Prepaid Cards into
transaction accounts, which provides access to additional services such as cash loading
via LANDBANK branches and Cash Deposit Machines, receiving of funds from other
agencies through institutional top-up, from LANDBANK accounts through the LANDBANK
Mobile Banking Application (MBA), iAccess and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), and
from other bank accounts via InstaPay.

Along with the cash assistance the family receives, Marvie also receives a stipend to
support her studies as a grantee of the Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES) Program of the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Unified Student Financial Assistance
System for Tertiary Education (UniFAST).

Currently, Marvie goes to the LANDBANK Antique Branch to encash the cheque she
receives under the TES Program. Soon, she will benefit from LANDBANK’s partnership
with CHED and UniFAST, with the ongoing distribution of LANDBANK CHED-UniFAST
Prepaid Cards to TES beneficiaries.

The LANDBANK CHED-UniFAST Prepaid Card is a general-purpose reloadable card that
functions as an electronic wallet and can be used as a debit or ATM card, allowing TES
beneficiaries to conveniently withdraw their student allowance from LANDBANK ATMs,
Branches, and Agent Banking Partners nationwide. They can also use the LANDBANK
CHED-UniFAST Prepaid Cards for cashless payments, electronic fund transfers, and
online account management, among others.

“Salamat sa LANDBANK sa magandang serbisyo upang maihatid ang suporta ng
gobyerno sa akin at sa aking pamilya, lalo na ngayon panahon ng pandemya. Malaking tulong ang inyong produkto at serbisyo upang maipagpatuloy ko ang aking pag-aaral,”
says Marvie.

Just recently, Marvie won second runner-up in the MyTEStimony photo contest of
LANDBANK and CHED-UniFAST, where she photographed herself studying at home, with
only a gas lamp as her only source of light. With the cash prize, she was able to buy a
mobile phone that she uses for her online classes.
As part of its commitment of serving the nation, LANDBANK is the main distribution arm
of financial assistance under the National Government’s social protection programs, in
partnership with various government agencies.

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