THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) said outstanding loans to small farmers, fisherfolk, and other priority sectors like small businesses and local government agricultural projects rose 20% year on year in the first three months.
At a briefing Thursday in Malate, Manila, the state-owned bank said loans to priority sectors hit P721 billion during the quarter, compared with P600 billion a year earlier. Priority-sector loans accounted for 93% of its portfolio for the period of P778.8 billion.
The bank defines its priority sectors as small farmers and fisherfolk, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), agri-and aqua-projects of local government units and government-owned and controlled corporations, communications, transportation, housing, education, health care, environment-related projects, tourism, and utilities.
Outstanding loans to small farmers and fisherfolk grew 12% year-on-year to P45.3 billion. Loan releases during the period amounted to P13 billion, benefiting 128,496 small farmers and fisherfolk.
Outstanding agribusiness loans rose 29% year on year to P144 billion. Loans to MSMEs totaled P111.7 billion during the period. Loans to local government units (LGUs) hit P50 billion.
In 2019, Cecilia C. Borromeo, the bank’s president and chief executive officer, said “Ang target naming [Our target] total loans is P840 billion. The total at the end of 2018 was P768.6 billion… or more than 10% growth in loans.”
The deposit target for 2019 is P1.74 trillion from P1.65 trillion at the end of 2018. First quarter of his year, Land Bank recorded deposits of P1.68 trillion at the end of the quarter, up 17% from a year earlier.
Ms. Borromeo also said that the bank is confident of hitting 10% net profit growth for the year. It ended 2018 with net profit of P15.5 billion, which was also up 10%.
“Based on our performance for the first four months, we will definitely achieve that… Can we grow it to 17 (billion pesos)? Probably, yes,” she noted.
In the first quarter, LANDBANK’s net profit rose 12% to P4.75 billion. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang