DAVAO CITY, Philippines – An official of Land Bank of the Philippines said Wednesday that farmers considered as Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) will be prioritized in terms of lending them a financial assistance.
“Normally, the land given to them (farmers) were without crop to till. We can provide them based on their need and suitability of the area in terms of what crop is suitable,” Charlotte Conde, vice president of LBP said.
Conde, who also heads of LBP’s lending operations in Davao Region, said that financial assistance to the ARBs work both ways, meaning the farmer identified to be a beneficiary would seek assistance to the LBP and the LBP would do its part.
“Once they are identified as ARBs, automatically, the bank will provide them financial assistance,” Conde said.
Conde said they have extended loans to three farmers cooperatives in the Madaum, the Hijo Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative 1 and 2, and Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.
He said the LBP helped brokered negotiation with the cooperatives in its land dispute with Lapanday Foods Incorporated. The state-owned bank also asked the cooperative if it was still interested in the company as its buyer.
“As of now the intervention the Land Bank is really to bring together on the negotiation table buyer nila which is Lapanday,” Conde said.
“Right now, negotiation is being done with both cooperatives and Lapanday and hopefully with another buyer if there would be an interested buyer that would enter contract with them,” Conde added.
Conde said the Department of Agrarian Reform also took part in the said negotiation.
Land Bank lending operations
In 2016, Conde said the LBP already lend a total amount of P12 billion in the Davao Region serving 780 customers.
Some P300 million was lent to small and medium enterprises that catered to agri-business ventures, and P400 million was lent to small farmers and fisher folks.
This year, the LBP lending operations would target to increase their portfolio with an additional of P2 billion, for a total of P14 billion.
The loan portfolio for the SMEs, which was P300 million, would also be increased this year to P400 million.
“For the agriculture, the expansion of our lending operations to small farmers and fishers would be P450 million,” Conde said.
With increasing clients in the agriculture sector, Conde said they would open a lending center in Tagum City in Davao del Norte. This would increase their target loan portfolio P500 million this year. (davaotoday.com)