By Chino S. Leyco
State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines opened lending facilities for farmers, fisherfolk, and inventors along with small and micro entrepreneurs, especially in remote or unserved areas, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.
In a statement released by the DOF over the weekend, Land Bank’s new facilities include the Empowering Barangays in Remote Areas through Credit and Enterprise (EMBRACE) with an initial fund of R1 billion.
According to the DOF’s statement, EMBRACE is designed to serve the financing needs of small farmers, fishers, and micro and small entrepreneurs.
“Land Bank has recently implemented EMBRACE in support of its continuing commitment to the government’s goal on financial inclusion as a means to achieve inclusive growth,” the lender said in a report.
Another financing package available at the Bank is the Innovation and Technology (I-TECH) Lending Program which serves patented Filipino inventors who want to commercialize their inventions.
The bank did not specify in the report how much was initially allotted for I-TECH, but Land Bank said it will work with the Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) on the features of the lending program, which aims to “make available a special financing window” for Filipino inventors.
EMBRACE aims to target 1.2 million small borrowers who are seeking financing for their projects that involve agricultural crop, livestock and fishery production, agri-enterprise and other livelihood initiatives.
The program covers 84 unserved municipalities in Luzon, 33 in the Visayas and 112 in Mindanao.
Small borrowers can each avail of a minimum loan of R25,000 and a maximum of 80 percent of their total project costs, but not to exceed R500,000 under this lending program.
In the I-TECH program, state colleges and universities with patented inventions and enterprises authorized by inventors to use their patents through a Deed of Assignment can also avail of the financing package.
Land Bank is under the supervision of the DOF, and chaired by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.