LandBank supports RTL with P7.5B in loan, cash grant releases 

CALOOCAN CITY, May 19 (PIA) -- Since the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL) or Republic Act No. 11203 was signed two years ago, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank)—in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA)—has disbursed as of April 30, 2021 a total of P7.5 billion in loans and cash grants which benefitted 962,126 rice farmers. 

Department of Finance Secretary and LandBank Chairman Carlos Dominguez III recently noted the passage and implementation of the RTL as among the game-changing accomplishments of the Duterte administration, which forms part of the national government’s “whole-of-the-nation” initiatives toward making the Philippine rice industry competitive over counterparts in the ASEAN region. 

Meanwhile, based on a report submitted by the DA, Senator Cynthia A. Villar, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture, said that the agencies implementing the RTL “continue to deliver their commitment in ensuring the availability of affordable and quality rice to consumers while increasing the productivity of rice farmers, despite the pandemic.” 

Programs in support of RTL

LandBank administers support programs for the DA as part of the RTL implementation to help local rice farmers increase their productivity and income. 

Of the total P7.5 billion in disbursements as of April 30, 2021, P1.03 billion in cumulative loans were extended to 6,218 eligible borrowers under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF). 

Available until 2024, LandBank will lend up to P500 million in credit assistance annually under ERCA-RCEF to rice farmers in 38 rice-producing provinces at affordable interest rates, with minimum documentary requirements.

The state-run bank has also released a total of P2.52 billion in loans to 165,963 small rice farmers through the Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE Aid) Lending Program, providing an immediate credit assistance of P15,000 per borrower with zero interest and no collateral to rice farmers who are tilling one (1) hectare of land and below.

Meanwhile, under the DA’s Rice Farmer Financial Assistance (RFFA) Program, a total of 253,826 farmers were provided cash assistance amounting to P1.27 billion. The RFFA is a P3-billion unconditional cash transfer program which aims to give P5,000 financial assistance each to rice farmers who are tilling 0.5 to 2 hectares of land. 

LandBank also released a total of P2.68 billion in cash grants to 536,119 farmer-beneficiaries under the DA’s Financial Subsidy to Rice Farmers (FSRF) Program. Through the FSRF, small rice farmers tiling one (1) hectare or less who are not covered under the RFFA Program are provided P5,000 cash subsidy to augment their production needs.

On February 14, 2019, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed RA 11203 entitled, “An Act Liberalizing the Importation, Exportation, and Trading of Rice, Lifting for the Purpose the Quantitative Import Restriction on Rice, and for Other Purposes.” The law provided a P10-billion annual support to rice farmers to help increase their productivity and income. 

For more information about LandBank’s lending programs, and other products and services, clients may visit the Bank’s official website: www.landbank.com, or follow the Bank’s official social media channels at @landbankofficial on Facebook and Instagram, @LBP_Official on Twitter, and @LandBank on Viber. (PIA NCR)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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