A SENATOR has filed a resolution seeking to investigate the proposed merger of state-run lenders Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), citing potential risks on the welfare of employees and coconut levy beneficiaries.  

Senator Ana Theresia “RisaN. Hontiveros-Baraquel said the planned merger raises concerns on the potential risks and benefits it may bring to the economy, the stability of the financial system, and various stakeholders, including the employees of both institutions.”  

The LANDBANK and DBP also carry out separate, distinct, perhaps incompatible mandates,she said in Senate Resolution No. 570.   

While the DBP serves industry by financing infrastructure, logistics and commerce, the LBP has served as the primary institution mandated by the State to finance the agricultural development of the country.”  

She cited still unresolved issuesarising from the recent merging of LANDBANK and the United Coconut PlantersBank, with coconut farmer beneficiaries saying it will be more difficult to access support from the coco levy fund.  

Ms. Hontiveros-Baraquel added that the Land Bank of the Philippines Employees Association and the DBP EmployeesUnion said the LBP violated the terms of their Collective Negotiations Agreementsby failing to consult the unions on the merger. 

She also said that banks set up through legislation could only be merged by a law, citing remarks of former Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III. 

The Governance Commission for Government-owned and Controlled Corporations said on Monday that the President can proceed with a merger without waiting for Congress to file and pass related bills.” 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. supports the LANDBANK-DBP merger.  

Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said last month that the merger will result in government savings of about P5.3 billion per year or at least P20 billion for the next four years.  

However, Ms. Hontiveros-Baraquel said, There is a need for the government to proceed cautiously and prudently vis-à-vis the contemplated merger, as well as clarify all legal issues involved.Beatriz Marie D. Cruz