Landbank releases P583 million loans to ARBs
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Government-owned Land Bank of the Philippines has released P583 million in loans to farmers as it seeks to help boost productivity of the local agriculture sector.

The total loans for the first semester covered two lending programs to support agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and small farmers.

The bulk of the loans at P571.3 million went to the Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development (CAP-PBD) Window III Program Extension, benefitting 6,854 beneficiaries through 112 ARB organizations.

CAP-PBD, which has been extended 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 and agri-enterprise projects.

The extension was designed as a flexible credit facility for ARBOs that are not yet qualified to borrow under the regular lending window of Land Bank. The ARBOs may use the loan as additional working capital for on-lending to their ARB-members or to finance ARBO-managed projects.

Eligible ARBOs may borrow an amount equivalent to up to 80 percent of the total project cost, but not to exceed P5 million at a six percent per annum interest, payable up to two years based on the crop cycle or project cash flow.

The remaining P12 million was released under the Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprises for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Small Farm Holders that targets farmers whose livelihood were affected by the pandemic, as well as pest and diseases.

Prior to the program relaunch, the credit facility was only available to ARBOs whose members were affected by natural calamities and disasters.

The program revamp was made in line with the government’s aggressive drive to support ARBs and small farm holders amid the pandemic. As of end-June, a total of 928 beneficiaries through 12 ARBOs have availed of the loan facility.

Eligible ARBOs can avail of the loan to finance agro-enterprise or livelihood projects and for providential purposes at interest rates of three and zero percent per annum, respectively.

In turn, ARBOs are allowed to relend the fund to members at six and three percent per annum, respectively. The loans can be paid up to three years, depending on the project or household cash flow.

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