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P5B in loans released to MSMEs

The Land Bank of the Philippines has approved loans totaling P6.95 billion for 227 borrowers composed mostly of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives that are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under the I-Rescue lending program, Land Bank said it released P5.28 billion of the total P6.95 billion for the benefit of 208 borrowers, composed of 167 MSMEs, 34 cooperatives, four microfinance institutions, and three large corporations, as of end-January 2021, its press release said.

Launched in April 2020 at the height of strict quarantine lockdowns, the lending program was designed in support of Republic Act 11494, or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, to provide credit and loan restructuring under a more flexible terms and conditions for MSMEs, MFIs, and cooperatives.

The bank also recently expanded the coverage of the program to allow more borrowers affected by the pandemic to avail of credit and loan restructuring assistance.

The lending program now allows micro enterprises and large corporations to borrow a maximum of 85 percent of their emergency or permanent working capital requirement. Terms are set at an interest rate of 5 percent per annum for three years, subject to annual re-pricing, and payable up to 10 years with a maximum of two years grace period on the principal repayment, the press release said.

Landbank is currently working on expanding the program further to offer a new sub-credit facility for MSMEs, cooperatives, and self-employed individuals severely affected by the health crisis. Qualified borrowers may soon be able to borrow a minimum amount of P100,000 or up to 85 percent of their actual permanent working capital requirement, at a lower fixed interest rate of 3 percent per annum and payable up to three years.

“We are enhancing the I-Rescue lending program to cover a wider range of key industries that need greater access to credit. Land Bank is keeping in step with emerging requirements under the new normal in support of the country’s ongoing economic recovery,” bank president and chief executive officer, Cecilia Borromeo, said.

Existing clients may also avail of loan restructuring via additional loan and extended repayment period or combination of means to rehabilitate and restore operational cash flow.

The lending program is available until Dec. 31, 2022. Interested borrowers may contact the nearest Land Bank Lending Center or branch, call customer service hotline at (02) 8-405-7000, or at PLDT Domestic Toll Free 1-800-10-405-7000, the press release added.*

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