STATE-OWNED Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) has simplified its loan application process to make credit more accessible to farmers and fishermen.
LANDBANK has condensed its application form into one document from the previous three separate documents and included tick boxes for more straightforward approach, it said in a statement on Monday. Previously, the three documents to be filled out were the application form, sworn statement and the data privacy consent form.
It said the promissory note document required was also shortened into one page from the previous 14-page long form. Basic requirements were also trimmed down to a loan application form, a simple farm plan and a barangay clearance for borrowers of the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ACEF).
“We understand that applying for loans can be intimidating, especially for small farmers and fishers, so we have started making basic improvements in our processes to make it easier for them to avail of loans,” LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted as saying in the statement.
The average turnaround time of loan applications was also reduced to one day compared to the maximum 10-day commitment to the Governance Commission for Government-owned and controlled corporations.
Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar assured in late August that a more simplified loan access for farmers will be provided by LANDBANK as they finalize new lending agreements.
The bank said it also standardized interest rates to five percent per year for most of its direct lending programs for farmers and fisherfolk.
Meanwhile, a fixed two percent interest rate per annum were set to the retail lending programs that LANDBANK administers for the Department of Agriculture (DA), including the ACEF Lending Program and the Socialized Credit Program under the Sugarcane Industry Development Act.
LANDBANK, along with the DA, has launched the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance program, or the SURE Aid, aimed to provide one-time zero-interest loan of P15,000 for farmers tilling one hectare and below.
“This is just the beginning as we are actively looking for ways to further improve the loan application process for our farmer and fisher borrowers. Through these efforts, we hope to encourage them to go to LANDBANK instead of borrowing from informal lenders who charge significantly higher rates,” Ms. Borromeo added.