The Philippines' largest public financial institution, Landbank is spurring national growth beginning at the grassroots
Amid major shifts in the Philippines’ economic and financial landscape, the Land Bank of the Philippines has maintained its standing as a leading universal bank while staying true to its vision of promoting countryside development.
LANDBANK’s net income has been steadily growing over the years, keeping it among the best performing GOCCs and the top five banks in the country. In 2011, its net income increased to a record-high PHP9 billion (£131 million). Total assets expanded by nearly 13 per cent to PHP638.9 billion from PHP565.7 billion in 2010, while capital rose by 13 per cent to PHP71.6 billion from PHP63.2 billion. Its capital adequacy ratio (CAR), or the measurement of a bank’s fiscal strength, is at an impressive 16.47 per cent, significantly higher than the country’s Central Bank minimum CAR requirement of 10 per cent.
To cap off its first year under the Aquino administration, LANDBANK also had the honour of remitting PHP5 billion in cash dividends to the national government. LANDBANK President and Chief Executive Officer, Gilda Elepaño Pico states, “This forms part of LANDBANK’s contribution to the government’s coffers in support of its revenue generation efforts and fiscal consolidation programme.”
Further attesting to the bank’s sound financial position, investors swamped LANDBANK’s recent sale of unsecured subordinated debt. From an original target of PHP6.5 billion, orders for the Tier 2 notes reached an astounding PHP12.5 billion.
Loans to Priority Sectors
Unwavering commitment to its social mandate is at the core of LANDBANK’s success. To date, it is the largest formal credit institution in the rural areas present in 79 of the country’s provinces, continuously augmenting government efforts to boost agricultural productivity, generate employment and create more livelihood opportunities in the countryside by providing financial and technical assistance to its mandated clients and priority sectors.
LANDBANK’s mandated clients and priority sectors include small farmers and fisherfolk and their associations; agri- and aqua-businesses, agri-aqua related projects of local government units (LGU) and government-owned-and-controlled corporations; micro, small and medium enterprises and microenterprises, communications, transportation, housing, education, healthcare, environment-related projects, and tourism.
As of end-2011, LANDBANK loans to priority sectors grew by 11 per cent to PHP172.1 billion from PHP155.1 billion in December 2010. Last year, it released PHP40.5 billion loans to small farmers and fisherfolk, reaching more than 900,000 small farmers and fisherfolk nationwide.
While the Bank remains loyal to the agriculture sector, LANDBANK also gives priority to companies that wish to invest in renewable energy and water projects. LANDBANK likewise continues to strengthen relations with cooperatives and countryside financial institutions such as rural banks, which serve as conduits in extending much-needed credit support to farmers and fisherfolk across the country.
With around 95 per cent of government institutions as its clients, LANDBANK has a direct hand in the expeditious financing of farm-to-market roads, school buildings, farm irrigation, public markets and other vital infrastructure. It has been aggressively extending credit support to LGUs and remains the biggest lender to this sector with outstanding loans reaching PHP45.8 billion as of December 2011.
Earlier this year, a LANDBANK-funded project in the Municipality of South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi was cited by the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) as Outstanding Development Project under the Infrastructure Development Awards Category for 2011. The winning project includes the construction of a municipal hall and a rock causeway pier and the acquisition of speedboat, through which the local government’s delivery of basic social services has been more efficient.
In 2011, three other projects funded by LANDBANK for the LGUs of Pangasinan, Abra and Oriental Mindoro were likewise cited by ADFIAP as Outstanding Development Projects under the Infrastructure Development Awards Category for 2010.
Collaboration with National Government
Paramount to the bank’s success is its capability for self-sufficiency that enables it to not only finance its development initiatives but also support the government’s programmes. “LANDBANK remains committed to its role as the government’s partner both in rural and national development as, together, we work towards promoting a vibrant economy,” Ms Pico says.
Conditional Cash Transfer Programme
LANDBANK continues to support the government’s poverty reduction program by working closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development on its Conditional Cash Transfer Program wherein the government provides direct assistance to the poorest of the poor. In 2011, LANDBANK disbursed PHP18 billion in cash grants, reaching more than 2 million beneficiaries nationwide.
Food Supply Chain Programme
In support of the government’s thrust to promote food security and increase agricultural productivity and income of farmers, LANDBANK, through the Food Supply Chain Programme, provides credit and technical support along the value-added chain of a commodity or industry.
Strengthening Programme for Cooperative Banks
Along with the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, LANDBANK encourages mergers, consolidation with or acquisition of control of eligible cooperative banks by strategic third party investors to make them more competitive and to boost the cooperative banking sector, which is vital for economic growth. In support of the programme, LANDBANK has allocated a PHP300 million equity investment fund to be provided to eligible cooperative banks and up to PHP1 billion in credit facilities for each surviving bank to expand and sustain its operations.
To help the government promote businesses and economic activities, LANDBANK partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission enabling all LANDBANK provincial branches to facilitate the pre-processing of SEC applications, thereby helping streamline the registration process and payment options.
OFW Reintegration Programme
In partnership with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), LANDBANK provides economic opportunities to returning OFWs through the OFW Reintegration Programme. It has so far approved PHP129.3 million in loans to finance livelihood projects of Overseas Filipinos from PHP300,000 to PHP2 million. The bank also provides technical assistance, so that the Filipino worker can start building up an Internet café or water refilling station business instead of leaving the country for work.
Corporate Social Responsibility
“To be able to hear directly from the farmers how much their lives have improved and progressed because of the assistance of LANDBANK really touches the heart.”
Gilda Elepaño Pico,
Standing proud, moving onward
LANDBANK’s social mission sets it apart from other financial institutions. It plays a vital role in nation-building as it works together with the national government and various stakeholders towards the development of the countryside and of key economic sectors, such as agriculture, small and medium enterprises, and agribusinesses.
For Gilda Pico, who has been with LANDBANK for three decades, she considers helping farmers and fisherfolk as a true source of inspiration. She fondly shares, “If you see that there is improvement in the lives of the people that you serve, you will be inspired to work. To be able to hear directly from the farmers how much their lives have improved and progressed because of the assistance of LANDBANK really touches the heart.”
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