STATE-RUN Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) said loans to its priority sectors grew by nearly a tenth in the first quarter as it continued to reach out to more clients in the countryside, its top official said.
In a statement yesterday, the bank said loans to the agriculture sector rose by 9.89% to P176.7 billion in the first quarter from P160.8 billion in the same period last year.
The bank’s loans to priority sectors account for 73% of its total lending portfolio during the first three months of the year, which totaled P242.2 billion.
“Landbank continues to reach out to more key players [that] will help spur countryside development. This signifies our commitment to improve the economic conditions of our countrymen in the rural areas,” Landbank President and Chief Executive Officer Gilda E. Pico was quoted as saying in the statement.
Landbank’s priority sectors are classified into three:
• “mandated sector,” which include farmers, fisherfolk and their cooperatives;
• “support for agriculture and fisheries,” which include agribusiness, aqua-business and agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGUs) and government-owned and-controlled corporations (GOCCs); and
• “support for national government priority programs,” which covers micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME), transportation, housing, education, health care, renewable energy,
tourism and environment-related projects.
Around P61.12 billion went to loans for agri-aqua-related projects of LGUs and GOCCs.
Loans for agri-aqua-related projects of small farmers and fisherfolk totaled P26.32 billion and loans to MSMEs amounted to P25.19 billion.
Loans to farmers and fisherfolk without the agri-aqua related projects rose by 17.74% to P7.3 billion in the first quarter.
Landbank said the loans were disbursed through 535 farmers’ and fisherfolk’s cooperatives and 178 countryside financial institutions.
Total loans released by the bank to the agriculture sector covered more than 134,000 small farmers and fisherfolk nationwide.
Landbank profits were around 11% higher year-on-year at P3.1 billion in the first quarter.