Land Bank extends P4-B loans in Region 1 and CAR
By Danny O. Sagun
Dagupan City (31 March ) -- The Land Bank of the Philippines has extended some P4.74 billion in loans to its priority sectors in Region I and western Cordillera Administrative Region as of December 31, 2009, according to Filipina B. Monje, assistant vice president and head of Region I and western Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Land Bank’s priority sectors are small farmers and fisherfolk (SFF) cooperatives, small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) and micro enterprises, agri-infrastructure projects of local government units, agri-related projects of government-owned and controlled corporations, livelihood loans, agri-businesses, environment-related projects, specialized housing schools and hospitals.
Of the total exposure, about 19 percent or P907.25 million went to farmers’ cooperatives and other financial conduits such as rural banks, irrigators’ associations, and farmers’ organizations benefiting close to 15,131 newly-assisted farmers and fisherfolk last year.
The top five cooperative borrowers were the Dream Development Cooperative in Dingras, Ilocos Norte; Biba-Diwa MPC in Malasiqui, Pangasinan; Tagudin MPC in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur; SRT Alcala Coop of Pangasinan in Alcala, Pangasinan; and the Universal MPC in La Trinidad, Benguet.
Meanwhile, the bank’s total loans to SMEs in the area reached P1.31 billion as of yearend 2009. Loans to Countryside Financial Institutions (CFIs) grew by 51 percent, from P380 million a year ago to P571 million. Loans to LGUs in the region amounted to P2.08 billion.
Land Bank also released P520 million for rice production in 2009 thru cooperatives, irrigators’ associations, farmers organizations, and rice millers. This benefited 10,164 farmers covering 17,638 hectares.
Monje said that the bank was able to maintain strong lending operations to its priority sectors in the region over the last five years.
"Our sustained efforts to deliver credit assistance to our development partners particularly the small farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives, micro enterprises and SMEs in Region1 and western CAR is in support to the overall commitment of Land Bank to spur growth and progress in the countryside," she said.
Land Bank’s Region 1 covers the province’s of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte and western CAR provinces namely Abra, Benguet, and Mountain Province.
Meanwhile, Monje said that the reported missing P9 million of the city government of San Carlos was still being investigated even as she denied allegations of cover-up.
She also said that the encashment of the check the signatures of which were said to have been forged went thru the process. "Dumaan sa clearing yon at suportado ng accountant’s advice," she told a press conference at the Capitol Resort Hotel in Lingayen Tuesday.
San Carlos LBP branch manager Liza Melendez refused to divulge details of the investigation when pressed about it.
The transfer of the concerned signature verifier to Lingayen was part of the usual reassignment of personnel and not related to the alleged conspiracy in the encashment of the check. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]