MATANAO, Davao del Sur, and Calamba City, Laguna—The Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) announced it has signed agreements with the local government units (LGUs) of Matanao, Davao del Sur, and Calamba City, Laguna.
In a statement, the Matanao LGU said the recovery efforts of this second-class municipality against the ongoing health crisis, as well as natural calamities such as frequent earthquakes that rock the region, will receive crucial financial support from the LandBank.
The LandBank said the Municipality of Matanao signed six term loans totaling P200 million last March 15.
The Matanao LGU availed of the financial recovery package under a lending program designed to provide the necessary funding requirements of provincial, city, and municipal LGUs to revive their local economy and recover from the adverse impact of the pandemic, the Landbank said in a statement.
“We continue to encourage our LGUs to utilize their borrowing capacity to bolster local healthcare services and economic recovery programs,” Landbank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted in a statement as saying. Borromeo added the bank’s lending program provides for “responsive and accessible financing for these requirements.”
Part of the loan will be used by Matanao to bolster its healthcare services, which include maintenance of Covid-19 isolation and monitoring units, as well as temporary treatment facilities for residents suspected or have tested positive with the virus, the Landbank said.
The loan will also replenish funds used by the LGU to procure food and medical supplies that are distributed to the poorest and most affected members of the community who are mostly engaged in rice farming and banana cultivation, the Landbank added.
Under Republic Act 11494 or the “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act,” loans availed by LGUs during this time for such purposes will receive an interest subsidy until December 31, 2022 or until the total P1-billion subsidy fund under the Act is fully utilized.
Matanao Mayor Vincent F. Fernandez said the LGU will strive to keep Matanao as one of the most competitive municipalities in the Davao Region.
Matanao added that one of the term loans will be used to reconstruct the Municipal Hall building—previously financed by the bank in 2013—after it was severely damaged by earthquakes in 2019 and rendered unusable.
Another term loan will be used to acquire heavy equipment for the ongoing development of road networks and other infrastructure prospects within the Municipality that will pave the way for the enhanced
mobility of people and goods.
Moreover, the loan package will also fund the construction of a public market building that will benefit small farmers and fishers, as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
MEAMWHILE, LandBank said the City Government of Calamba is tapping its services to provide its constituents more convenient and safe additional payment channels to settle local government fees.
Calamba City Mayor Justin Marc SB. Chipeco and LandBank Calamba City Hall Branch Head, Assistant Vice President Anna Marie L. Mundin, signed last March 23 two Memoranda of Agreement for the use of Landbank’s Branch online collection facility and electronic payment channel.
The LandBank’s facility will allow Calambeños to pay Real Property Taxes to the Calamba City LGU at any Landbank branch nationwide, the bank said in a separate statement.
As part of the agreement, LandBank shall accept payments from the clients of Calamba City LGU in the form of cash, authority to debit account, on-us checks, manager’s checks, and local checks.
Meanwhile, through Landbank’s electronic payment channel, Calambeños will also be able to settle their RPT and business permit payments via the internet, the bank said.
Under the MOA, LandBank shall make the electronic payment channel accessible to Calamba City clientele for the payment of fees and charges assessed manually. The Bank shall also report to Calamba City LGU the number and total amount of transactions or collections facilitated daily.
“LandBank’s digital payment facilities support LGUs in promoting ease of doing business, especially under the new normal. We are also looking to collaborate with more government partners toward providing uninterrupted public services amid ongoing mobility limitations and health concerns due to the pandemic,” Borromeo said.
As of end-February, the number of transactions facilitated through LandBank’s major electronic channels reached 18.6 million with a total value of P247.08 billion, representing increases of 16 percent and 47 percent, respectively, over the same period last year.
Specifically, LandBank’s electronic payment channel recorded 660,490 transactions amounting to P1.39 billion, equivalent to 37 percent and 41 percent growth rates, respectively.
With 781 enrolled partner-merchants nationwide as of March 2021, the channel is the bank’s response to the national government’s call for a National Retail Payment System, which also supports the “eGov Pay” payment solution of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the LandBank said.