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PIA Press Release

Land bank extends P613 million to SMEs in Western Visayas

by T. Villavert

Iloilo City (5 October) -- The Land Bank of the Philippines reported that around 251 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Western Visayas were extended financial assistance to the tune of P613 million, said Land Bank Vice President and Regional Head Ruel Z. Romarate.

Romarate said that their June 2006 report showed 137 SMEs that were extended with financial assistance are in Panay island, while 114 SMEs are based in Negros Occidental.

Land Bank First Vice-President Stella Maris Yusay (left) stresses that LBP succeeded in helping the people in the countryside along with the trust of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's economic agenda, during a press conference held yesterday. Photo also shows Land Bank Vice President and Regional Head Ruel Z. Rumarate, Lemuel Sembrano and Peter Cañuso, heads of LBP Agrarian Operations Center of Negros and Iloilo, respectively. (PIA 6)

He said that the Land Bank is pushing productivity up in the countryside through SMEs which is one of the economic thrusts of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ten point-agenda.

He further said that to further push with the Land Banks spurring countryside development mandate, is “to work closely with their identified clients or mandated clients which we call development partners”.

These other developmental partners, he said, are the Cooperatives, the Countryside Financial Institutions and the Local Government Units.

Around P493.092 million were extended to 169 cooperatives in Panay island and Negros Occidental. For Countryside Financial Institutions, the Land Bank has extended financial assistance to thirty-two financial institutions to the tune of P126.335 Million.

The LBP Region VI Head further said that of the 139 cities, municipalities and provinces in the region, Land Bank was able to give financial assistance to 79 or 57% of the total LGUs here in the amount of P1.1 Billion.

It was further learned during the press conference that the LBP has granted P400 million loan for San Carlos Bioenergy, Inc. which will be used to partially finance the implementation of the Integrated Ethanol Distillery and Power Cogenaration Plant project in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Landbank head for the Visayas Branches Group First Vice-president Maris Yusay said that “with this project co-financed by LandBank, we are helping provide a viable and even better alternative in the form of an efficient and environment-friendly energy source".

The plant is capable of producing 100,000 liters per day of anhydrous fuel-grade ethanol and 8 MV of electricity. Total feedstock requirement of the plant is 1,500 MT of sugarcane per day. It will be built within a 25-hectare property in the San Carlos Agro-Industrial Economic Zone in San Carlos City, Negros Occidcental and is expected to be operational by November 2008. (PIA) [top]

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