The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) fully supports the ongoing Senate initiative to amend the provisions of Republic Act. No. 10000, otherwise known as the Agri-Agra Reform Credit of 2009 (Agri-Agra Law), which will provide farmers and fishers nationwide an expanded and easier access to responsive agricultural financing.
During a public hearing on the proposed Agri-Agra Law amendments on May 12, 2021, the state-owned Bank also welcomed recommendations from legislators to revisit its loan application requirements, specifically for small farmers and fishers, to make it easier for them to access financing.
In 2019, prior to the ongoing Agri-Agra law revisit, LANDBANK started simplifying its loan processes to make the Bank’s programs more accessible to small farmers and fishers.
First, the loan application form was condensed from three (3) documents to just one (1) document, and was reformatted with mostly tick boxes for easier completion. Second, the Promissory Note was significantly trimmed from 14 pages to only 1 page.
LANDBANK has also consistently complied with the Agri-Agra Law, which requires all banking institutions to allot 15% of their total lending portfolio for agriculture loans and 10% for agrarian reform credit.
As of December 2020, LANDBANK’s agriculture loans reached 76.95% and 11.52% for agrarian reform. Overall, LANDBANK’s agriculture lending has been consistently growing from P222.05 billion in 2018, to P236.31 billion in 2019, and P237.62 billion in 2020.
Likewise, as of March 31, 2021, LANDBANK’s total loan portfolio to the agriculture sector also grew by 4.8% to P229.70 billion from P219.24 billion last February. The increase is primarily attributed to a 9.5% rise in loans released to small, medium and large enterprises.
Of the P229.70 billion total outstanding loans, P36.27 billion benefitted small farmers and fishers, cooperatives and farmers’ associations, rural financial institutions and other conduits.
In partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), LANDBANK has also assisted cumulatively 2,696,839 farmers and fishers nationwide as of end-March 2021. This represents increases of 14,147 beneficiaries from February, and 25,990 for the first three months of the year.
Just last month, LANDBANK also culminated its Online Stakeholder’s Consultation Forum towards addressing emerging challenges and issues faced by clients in accessing agricultural credit amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Forum facilitated knowledge sharing with key players in the agribusiness value chain to help the Bank further improve the accessibility of its lending products and services, especially under the new normal.
Online survey and focus group discussions were conducted to gain insights and suggestions from farmers and fishers groups, agri-input suppliers, aggregators and traders, processors, and wholesalers and exporters.
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