Landbank presents action plan to intensify lending to agri sector

MANILA The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has presented an action plan to intensify lending to the agriculture sector to President Rodrigo Duterte, MalacaAang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this action plan was presented during the Cabinet meeting on Monday (August 5) night.

The Land Bank of the Philippines' President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo, together with Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, imparted the Landbank's Action Plan to intensify lending to the agriculture sector, Panelo said in a statement.

In Duterte's fourth state of the nation address (SONA) on July 22, Duterte directed Landbank officials to submit to him an action plan that details how the bank will increase lending to the agriculture sector.

Data from Landbank showed that loans which support the agriculture and fisheries sector amounted to PHP177.32 billion while loans that support the national government's priority programs, including infrastructure projects, reached PHP524.86 billion.

Borromeo earlier said with Mindanao being the country's food basket, it will definitely receive greater focus in the bank's bid to increase lending to the agriculture sector.

Aside from the Landbank action plan, Panelo bared that the President wanted the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to work with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to study the impact of amending Memorandum Circular No. 28 was also discussed during the Cabinet meeting.

The circular allows farmers to use their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) as an instrument to obtain loans with restrictions such as being a member of an agrarian reform beneficiary organization, which impedes the farmer's loan transactions.

Meanwhile, Panelo said Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay and Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa shared updates on the Tax Collection on Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO).

Through an interagency task force composed of the BIR, DOJ (Department of Justice), Bureau of Immigration, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and Department of Labor and Employment, the government was able to issue tax identification numbers to foreign workers, and as a result collect taxes from them, Panelo said.

The Department of Finance estimated that PHP2 billion monthly revenues shall be collected from POGOs, he added.

Finally, Education Secretary Leonor Briones discussed her department's Last Mile Schools Program wherein schools from geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas shall be reached by them to improve and provide needs of every learner.

The program involves the building, repair, and construction of classrooms with potable water and electricity, distribution of textbooks and manuals, employment of teachers, and feeding students, among others.

Last mile schools will ensure that no one will be left behind and that education is truly accessible, Panelo said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency