LAND BANK of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has approved P20.07 billion in loans for firms, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as of April.

The bank said in a statement that loans released through its I-RESCUE (Interim Rehabilitation Support to Cushion Unfavorably affected Enterprises by COVID-19) lending program, which it started in April 2020, benefitted 434 borrowers comprised of 292 MSMEs, 81 cooperatives, 56 large corporations, and five microfinance institutions (MFIs).

Some P18.21 billion of the P20.07 billion in approved loans has already been released.

LANDBANK in April doubled the I-RESCUE program’s fund to P20 billion from the initial P10 billion amid an increased number of loan applications from firms.

The lending program will be available until Dec. 31, 2022 and was set up by LANDBANK to provide credit and loan restructuring assistance to entities adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the program, MSMEs, cooperatives, MFIs and large corporations may borrow up to 85% of their permanent working capital requirement, or the minimum amount required for their businesses to operate.

The loans carry an interest rate of 5% per annum for three years, subject to annual repricing afterwards, and will be payable for up to 10 years, with a maximum of two years grace period on the principal repayment.

The program also has a sub-credit facility for MSMEs, cooperatives, and self-employed individuals, where they can borrow a minimum of P100,000 or up to 85% of their permanent working capital requirement, but not exceeding P3 million, at a fixed rate of 3% per annum. This will be payable for up to three years and will not require hard collateral.

Existing LANDBANK clients may also avail of loan restructuring under the program via additional loans and extended repayment period.