State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines is working to increase its lending conduits to expand its reach to microentrepreneurs, who have P9.2 billion approved loans from the Bank as of September 2016, the bank said on Friday.

Landbank officer-in-charge Cecilia Borromeo said they are now in talks with cooperatives, rural banks, non-government organizations, and finance companies in four provinces—Batanes, Kalinga, Apayao and Dinagat Island—where Landbank has no lending conduits for this sector.

“Before the year ends, we will have conduits in these four remaining areas to complete the mechanism, particularly servicing microentrepreneurs in all 81 provinces. So far, we have 52 microfinance institutions through which we course our credit facilities for microenterprises,” Borromeo said in a statement.

Landbank taps as lending conduits 17 cooperatives, 12 finance companies, 12 non-government organizations and foundations, and 11 rural banks spread across the country.
These conduits, in turn, lend to microentrepreneurs engaged in various economic activities such as hog farming, duck and poultry raising, retail sale of various items, and tricycles and other land transport operation.

Through the first three quarters of the year, Landbank approved loans of P9.2 billion to its lending partners to benefit more than 635,000 sub-borrowers in 77 provinces.
Borromeo said Landbank is aggressively looking for ways to reach out to more microentrepreneurs and bring them under the umbrella of formal lending.

“We have long recognized the need to support microenterprises as these are among the key drivers of the rural economy. We continue to provide this with credit facilities that are responsive to their economic activities,” she added.

Landbank is the biggest lender to microenterprises and SMEs among government financial institutions. It is also in partnership with different agencies such as the DTI, DA, DAR, and DOST in supporting the government’s thrust of providing credit assistance to microentrepreneurs and small farmers and fishers.

Reposted from a news item from The Manila Times, Nov.5, 2016.