LandBank urged to aid PH growth
TIZIANA CELINE PIATOS
The Manila Times
FINANCE Secretary Benjamin Diokno wants the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) to help guide the nation toward economic progress and an inclusive financial system. “LandBank should be at the forefront in transforming into reality the Marcos administration’s goals of achieving a truly inclusive financial system and long-term economic growth that benefits all Filipinos,” said Secretary Diokno. “Here’s my marching order to you: Do your utmost to make LandBank more focused and responsive than ever toward creating a meaningful and deeper impact in the bank’s bigger role in nation-building,” added Diokno. Diokno, who is new LandBank board chairman, praised the bank for adhering to its social mission of promoting equitable growth in rural areas. The Finance secretary also highlighted how this mission changed and grew to include other crucial sectors in support of the government’s efforts to promote greater financial inclusion and national growth. “LandBank has been at the forefront of banking the unbanked. Through our partnership in the rollout of the Philippine Identification System, more than 8 million formerly unbanked Filipinos now have their own bank accounts,” said Diokno. “I commend the bank for the recent launching of [the] PISO account, mainly targeting the underserved Filipinos,” he added. The Overseas Filipino Bank, the nation’s first branchless and entirely digital government bank, was established by LandBank, which Diokno commended for playing a pioneering role in modernizing the banking industry. He also commended LandBank for acquiring the United Coconut Planters Bank in another significant development that increased the institution’s strength and resilience. LandBank’s total agri-loan portfolio as of June 30, 2022 was P257.7 billion, making it the sector’s top lender. The sum has increased by 15.5 percent from the same period last year.