Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has launched a lending program to aid the recovery of countryside financial institutions (CFIs) that were affected by typhoon Odette last year.

The bank’s loan program named Countryside Financial Institutions – Rehabilitation and Support to Typhoon Odette-Affected Areas or CFI-RESTORE aims to strengthen rural banks by providing additional capital for them to expand their operations and address the damage caused by the typhoon.

Loans secured via the program can also be used to provide credit for those affected by the typhoon.

“In the face of unprecedented financial challenges brought about by calamities, LANDBANK stands ready to assist CFIs to sustain their operations. This is part of our commitment to advance local recovery and help build more resilient communities nationwide,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo said in a statement on Sunday.

Under CFI-RESTORE, LANDBANK will support CFIs in six regions previously placed by the national government under a state of calamity due to typhoon Odette. These include MIMAROPA (Region IV-B), Western Visayas (Region VI), Central Visayas (Region VII), Eastern Visayas (Region VIII), Northern Mindanao (Region X), and CARAGA (Region XIII).

Borrowers can secure up to 85% of their actual need for permanent working capital and capital expenditure, and up to 90% for sub-borrowers’ agricultural loans and 85% for non-agricultural loans.

“An interest rate of 4% per year shall apply, fixed for the first three years and subject to repricing thereafter, and payable up to three years for working capital, ten years for capital expenditure, and ten years for term loan rediscounting,” the state-run bank said.

LANDBANK is also offering a loan restructuring plan under the program for CFIs with existing credit lines with the state-owned lender to help rehabilitate and restore their operational cash flow.

Eligible debtors for the program include rural, thrift and cooperative banks. The program will also cater to CFIs in areas placed under a state of calamity by their respective local government units.

LANDBANK’s net income in the first three months of the year soared by 141% to P13.2 billion from P5.48 billion a year earlier amid a one-time gain following its merger with United Coconut Planters Bank, as well as higher interest income from loans and investments. — K.B. Ta-asan