(Clockwise, from upper left) Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo leads the virtual signing of a P250-million loan agreement with STI Education Services Group, Inc. (STI-ESGI) Executive Committee Chairman Dr. Eusebio H. Tanco and STI-ESGI Chief Executive Officer Monico V. Jacob for the LANDBANK ACADEME Lending Program to finance STI’s ‘study now, pay later’ program for its students in the coming school year 2020-2021. Signing as witnesses are STI-ESGI Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer Yolanda M. Bautista, and LANDBANK Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Officer-In-Charge Senior Vice President Ma. Celeste A. Burgos.
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and STI Education Services Group, Inc. (STI-ESGI) signed a P250-million Term Loan Rediscounting Line agreement under the ACADEME (ACcess to Academic Development to Empower the Masses towards Endless Opportunities) Lending Program to finance the institution’s ‘study now, pay later’ program for its students amid the financial difficulties facing families due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo, STI-ESGI Executive Committee Chairman Dr. Eusebio H. Tanco and STI-ESGI Chief Executive Officer Monico V. Jacob led the virtual signing, held on July 24, 2020. The event was witnessed by STI-ESGI Chief Finance Officer and Treasurer Yolanda M. Bautista, and LANDBANK Agricultural and Development Lending Sector Officer-In-Charge Senior Vice President Ma. Celeste A. Burgos.
The STI-ESGI, which is the largest subsidiary of STI Holdings, is the first academic institution that availed of the ACADEME Lending Program. The institution offers secondary and tertiary programs, as well as post-graduate and associate programs.
“We would like to thank Chairman Tanco and the rest of STI-ESGI management team for putting faith in LANDBANK and our ACADEME Program to finance and ensure the enrollment of around 15,000 to 25,000 students in STI colleges and academic centers this upcoming school year,” LANDBANK President and CEO Borromeo said in her message.
Other academic institutions which also availed of the LANDBANK ACADEME Lending Program include Medical Colleges of Northern Philippines, Inc. (MCNP) and the International School of Asia and Pacific, Inc. (ISAP) in the province of Cagayan. And at least 80 more private educational institutions have expressed interest in accessing the credit facility.
“Almost 70% of our students are supported by overseas workers, who are being repatriated during this pandemic. This LANDBANK facility provides the much needed relief. STI has also agreed not to pass on the 3% interest of this facility. We will absorb this cost, and we thank LANDBANK for being the first bank to offer a study now, pay later plan. We are committed to the education of our youth, and we are happy to work with LANDBANK to make sure their future will continue to be bright and hopeful,” STI-ESGI CEO Jacob said in his response.
Launched in May 2020, the LANDBANK ACADEME Lending Program aims to provide credit support to private high schools, private technical and vocational education training institutions, as well as Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) such as colleges and universities, in providing continuing education to their students, through their parents or benefactors, under a ‘study now, pay later’ program.
LANDBANK allotted P3 billion for the Program, which offers refinancing or rediscounting of promissory notes issued by the parents or benefactors of students for school loans. Eligible schools can borrow up to 70% of the sub-promissory notes on a per semester basis, and subject further to a maximum amount based on the school’s net borrowing capacity, with a very low fixed interest rate of 3% per annum, payable based on the maturity of the sub-promissory notes, but not to exceed three (3) years.
For more details about the Program’s features and application requirements, interested borrowers may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.
Former OFW turns to LANDBANK for a ‘refreshing’ start
Annie Suela, a watermelon farmer from Sibalom, Antique, availed of LANDBANK’s Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) loan program in 2019 to finance her watermelon production. With the existing quarantine protocols due to COVID-19, Suela once again relied on LANDBANK’s assistance to cushion the effect of the pandemic on her livelihood. SIBALOM, Antique – The strict quarantine imposed by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic played a key role in a former overseas worker’s “refreshed” source of income. Just like everybody who became unsure of how things will turn out as a result of the lockdowns, watermelon farmer Annie Suela found herself in a predicament as to how she and her two children will survive. But thanks to Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK), her two-hectare watermelon farm managed to survive despite the COVID-19 lockdowns. A former Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Hong Kong, Suela heard over the radio about LANDBANK’s offer of low interest rates and simpler requirements for small farmers. “In December 2019, Ms. Suela was granted a credit line under the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF) loan program to finance the needs of her watermelon production. This also led to job generation for farm workers in their area who help prepare and till their farm,” said LANDBANK Iloilo Lending Center Head Inocentes Y. Ypanto, Jr. The ACEF fund facility, administered by LANDBANK, allows micro and small enterprises, farmers’ and fishers’ cooperatives and associations, as well as individual farmers to borrow up to 95 percent of total project cost. The funds can be used to purchase farm input and equipment or acquire/establish agri-based production and processing machineries, equipment and facilities. Suela recounted that she had a hard time keeping her watermelon farm afloat. With the limited transportation in the province resulting from the lockdown, Suela’s programmed deliveries to Manila and Boracay were disrupted. “Grabe yung experience namin dahil sa lockdown. Kahit ang dami naming pananim na watermelon, wala kaming kinikita dahil wala talagang bumibili at walang bumi-byahe sa mga terminal. (We experienced difficulties because of the lockdown. Nobody wants to buy our watermelon and any means of transporting our produce to the markets practically stopped),” Suela said. But these challenges did not break her spirit. Even with the lower profit and logistics issues, she continued to look for ways to sell her watermelons. On top of that, she also ensured that her outstanding balance with LANDBANK were paid in full to be eligible for a re-loan that she has been eyeing even before the pandemic. “Kahit na pandemic, sinikap ko talaga na makapagbayad kasi gusto ko mapanatili yung credit line ko sa LANDBANK para sa farm namin. Nag-focus kami sa pagbebenta ng mga vegetable para mabayaran yung balance namin. (Despite the pandemic, I tried my best to pay our loan obligation so I can maintain our credit line with LANDBANK. We focused on selling vegetables instead),” Suela explained. For Suela, ACEF was a welcome development for their financial needs compared to the usual unfair terms of illegal moneylenders. She is also is thankful for taking the leap with LANDBANK as it served as her safety net, especially during the strict lockdown period. “Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa LANDBANK kasi ang bilis din ma-approve ng re-loan ko kahit may pandemic. Within four days, na-credit na agad sa account ko yung loan kaya may pang-capital na ulit kami. Kung wala ang LANDBANK, hindi ko na alam kung saan kami kukuha ng pangsimula ulit. Madali silang kausap at laging handang tumulong sa katulad kong small farmer. (I am thankful to LANDBANK because despite the pandemic, our re-loan was approved immediately. The loan amount that will be used for capital was credited to our account in just four days. I wouldn’t know where to get the funds to restart operations without LANDBANK. They are always willing to help small farmers like me),” Suela said. Suela and her family are slowly getting back on their feet as quarantine protocols nationwide are relaxed. Aside from the loan she availed from LANDBANK, she is also grateful for the financial literacy workshops and the technical trainings she received from the Bank and the Department of Agriculture to help her better manage the farm. She is also aiming for higher goals. Suela said she is interested in another loan program that will help her mechanize her farm and increase productivity of both the watermelon and vegetable farms. Interested borrowers of the LANDBANK ACEF loan program may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.LEARN MORE
LANDBANK extends P737M in loans for purchase of modern jeepneys
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) continues to support the government program to put in new and safer public utility jeepneys (PUJs) on the street. As of August 31, 2020, LANDBANK has approved a total of P737.21 million in loans to 16 borrowers nationwide for the purchase of 407 modern jeepneys under the SPEED PUV SPEED PUV (Special Package for Environment-Friendly and Efficiently-Driven Public Utility Vehicles) Loan Program. Launched in March 2019, the LANDBANK facility offers financing to public transport cooperatives or corporations to help them make the shift to more efficient and safer vehicles. This is in connection with the Public Utility Vehicles Modernization Program (PUVMP), spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), with the goal of making the country's public transportation system efficient boost passenger safety and prevent pollution by imposing an age limit for transport vehicles that allowed to operate. “The SPEED PUV Program is geared towards supporting our jeepney operators with accessible and affordable financing to purchase modernized jeepneys. Together with the DOTr and LTFRB, LANDBANK is committed to the improvement of the country's transport system and the convenient and safe mobility of the riding public,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo. Modern jeepneys currently cost around P2.2 and P2.4 million. Unlike the clunky and noisy jeepneys, these are equipped with safety and convenient features such as curb-side passenger entrance and exit access, air-conditioning, closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems, and Global Positioning System (GPS), among others. LANDBANK’s SPEED PUV Program allows borrowers to loan up to ninety-five percent (95%) of the total acquisition cost of the PUJ, at an affordable interest rate of six percent (6%) per annum and payable up to a maximum of seven (7) years. LANDBANK is also offering a similar program for bus operators. The government bank recently launched a P3-billion program for the purchase of modern public utility buses, in support of the Metro Manila Bus Modernization Program of the DOTr-LTFRB. The loan facility is being offered through the Bank’s I-RESCUE for BUS Transport (Interim REhabilitation Support to Cushion Unfavorably-affected Enterprises by Covid-19 for Better Urban Services Transport) Lending Program. Interested borrowers may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.LEARN MORE
Rubber tree farmers in Zamboanga Sibugay ‘bounce back’ during the pandemic
Goodyear Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GARBEMCO) and Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) have been partners for rubber production in Zamboanga Sibugay since 1995, which helped sustain the co-op’s operations despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, through business diversification. KABASALAN, Zamboanga Sibugay – For the past 28 years, Goodyear Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GARBEMCO) has relied mainly on their 1000-hectare rubber and intercropped plantation to generate income for their 312 members who are Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs). But the COVID-19 crisis early this year dealt their rubber trading business with a heavy blow. “GARBEMCO’s rubber trading halted during the pandemic. There were no traders, and manufacturing plants stopped operating. So the co-op had to focus on its other businesses to ensure income for its members,” said LANDBANK Zamboanga del Sur Lending Center Head Engr. Joselito S. Año. Determined to stay afloat, the co-op turned to palay production and trading, and the operation of their consumer store and fishpond, among other businesses, which it already established early on through financial assistance from Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK). “Ang inspirasyon talaga namin para magpatuloy sa operasyon kahit na may pandemic ay yung aming pamilya at yung pamilyang nabuo namin sa co-op. Kaya nag-bayanihan talaga kami para lang masigurado na tuloy ang pinagkakakitaan at kabuhayan ng mga miyembro namin,” said GARBEMCO General Manager Lilia Manuel. LANDBANK and GARBEMCO’s partnership started in 1995 when the co-op availed of the Bank’s Agricultural Production Loan (APL) and Short Term Loan (STL) for the capital of their rubber production, and later on used it to diversify its businesses. “Ang laking tulong ng LANDBANK sa paglaki ng GARBEMCO. At marami pa kaming mga proyekto sa coop na gusto namin i-develop sa tulong pa rin ng LANDBANK, gaya ng agri-tourism through a hot spring resort,” GM Manuel added. With the relaxing quarantine restrictions in the province, GARBEMCO is now starting to engage anew in rubber trading. The harvests that they stored in their warehouse for the last 5 months, totaling to some 350 tons of rubber, are gradually becoming profitable again for their ARB members. LANDBANK remains steadfast in providing accessible financial channels to ARBs. As of June 2020, cumulative loan releases of two lending programs for ARBs and small farmers have already reached P583.35 million, under the Bank’s E-ARISE-ARBs (Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprises for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Small Farm Holders) loan program, and the CAP-PBD (Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development) Window III Program Extension. For more information about LANDBANK’s Lending Programs, interested borrowers may contact the nearest open LANDBANK Lending Center or Branch nationwide, or call LANDBANK’s customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000 or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000.LEARN MORE