Cumulative loan releases of two lending programs to support the country’s agrarian reform beneficiaries and small farmers as of the first half of the year has reached P583.35 million, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) announced.
About P12.05 million in fund assistance was released under LANDBANK’s expanded E-ARISE-ARBs (Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprises for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Small Farm Holders) loan program that targets beneficiaries and small farmers whose livelihood were adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as pest and diseases. Prior to the program relaunch, this credit facility was only available to agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBO) whose members were affected by natural calamities and disasters.
LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said the program revamp was made in line with the national government’s aggressive drive to support ARBs and small farm holders amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the expanded credit assistance will provide ARB cooperatives and farmers’ associations and small farm holder members greater access to credit. As of June 30, 2020 a total of 928 beneficiaries through 12 ARBOs have availed of this loan facility.
Eligible ARBOs can avail of the loan to finance agro-enterprise/livelihood projects and for providential purposes (i.e., house repairs for members and office repairs for ARBOs) at interest rates of 3% per annum and 0%, respectively. In turn, ARBOs are allowed to relend the fund to members at 6% per annum and 3% per annum, respectively. The loans can be paid up to three (3) years, depending on the project/household cash flow.
Another loan facility offered by LANDBANK and DAR, the CAP-PBD (Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development) Window III Program Extension, has released P571.3 million in loans as of end-June 2020 and benefited 6,854 beneficiaries through 112 ARBOs.
CAP-PBD, which has been extended for another year or until March 15, 2021, aims to address the financing requirements of newly-accessing ARBOs and the existing CAP-PBD borrowers for agricultural production and other livelihood/agri-enterprise projects.
The CAP-PBD Window III Program Extension was designed as a flexible credit facility for ARBOs that are not yet qualified to borrow under the regular lending window of LANDBANK. The ARBOs may use the loan as additional working capital for on-lending to their ARB-members, and/or to finance ARBO-managed projects.
Under the Program, eligible ARBOs may borrow an amount equivalent to up to 80% of the total project cost, but not to exceed P5 million, at an affordable interest rate of six percent (6%) per annum, payable up to two years based on the crop cycle/project cash flow.
“We will continue to work hand in hand with DAR, as well as other government agencies, to ensure that ARBOs have enough funds to lend to their members, and help them get through this health and economic crisis,” Borromeo said.
Interested ARBOs may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.