By Chino S. Leyco
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said yesterday that Land Bank of the Philippines, as one of the biggest lenders in the country, has the financial muscle to support the three business operations while complying with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s directives.
Dominguez, who is Land Bank’s ex-officio chairman, explained that state-lender is not abandoning its commercial and industrial lending operations, while complying with its mandate to support the country’s agriculture sector.
Dominguez said he is in regular contact with Land Bank executives, and was “assured that they are making every effort to finance projects in the agriculture sector.”
“The size of the resources of the bank as the main depository of government accounts makes it necessary for them to deploy their funds to commercial and industrial projects as well as agriculture projects,” Dominguez told reporters in a mobile phone message.
“They are also working closely with the Department of Agrarian Reform to hasten the distribution of individual land titles to the beneficiaries as a means of improving their bankability,” he added.
The finance chief also highlighted that Land Bank performs “critical functions” in implementing some of government programs, such as distributing funds to the so-called “Pantawid Pamilya” and “Pantawid Pasada” beneficiaries.
Dominguez also added that Land Bank is still pushing its planned acquisition of shares in the Philippine Dealing System Holdings Corp.
Land Bank is the country’s third largest universal bank in terms of assets and second in terms of deposits.
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) should be abolished if it could not present a viable plan to help the country’s farmers by the end of the month, President Duterte declared Monday.
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) before a joint session of Congress last Monday, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the Land Bank is “mired in so many commercial transactions” despite its mandate to provide financial support to farmers and fishermen.
The chief executive ordered Land Bank that it should go the countryside and extend financial assistance to farmers to boost their income and productivity.
Duterte asked the Land Bank officials to submit the plan for farmers by the end of July.
“You better decide on that, I will give you until the end of July to give me a plan or else, I will ask Congress to reconfigure you,” he added.