Landbank told to give credit access to farmers
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that President Rodrigo Duterte “hit it right on the mark” when he called the attention of the country’s biggest agricultural bank, the Land Bank of the Philippines, to return to its original mission of helping the country’s agriculture and fisheries stakeholders get easily accessible credit.
“Saying that the LandBank has rambled on missing its real mission of helping farmers, the President said that the bank should find ways of releasing the loan funds in a more expeditious manner,” Piñol said.
“While I sit in the LandBank as a member of the board representing the Department of Agriculture, I have to admit that the President was right in his observation,” he added.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) chief said that through the years, LandBank has metamorphosed from a “missionary” agricultural bank, whose role was to spur growth in the agriculture and fisheries sector, into a universal bank which has more commercial loan accounts than those granted to the agriculture sector.
In fact, borrowing money from LandBank is difficult for the ordinary farmer and I know that for a fact, he pointed out.
“The absence of credit in the rural areas is what exacerbates poverty in the farming and fisheries sector,” Piñol said.
“This is precisely the reason why the DA through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, a credit policy agency attached to the DA, has designed easy access credit programs to serve the small farmers and fisherfolk,” he added.