Duterte threatens to abolish Land Bank by July if they have no plan for farmers
President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to abolish the Land Bank of the Philippines if they cannot give him a viable plan for farmers by the end of July.
In his speech on Monday, Duterte told Land Bank they are the number one commercial bank in the Philippines which is the opposite of what is supposed to be their function.
“What the heck is happening to you? You are supposed to finance agricultural enterprises and endeavours. But why there is none? Why can't you just buy a few wagons or whatever? Go to the countryside and ask the people if there are cooperatives, help them to form one,” he said.
He said Land Bank should return to helping farmers.
“Go back to where you were created for and that is to help the farmers… You better decide on that. I will give you until the end of July to give me a plan or else I will ask Congress to reconfigure you what-not,” said Duterte.
“I'm asking now Congress, if they don’t have --- if there is no viable plan for that for the farmers and it is just all commercial transactions, might as well abolish it and give the money to the congressmen for their development funds,” he added.
In an ambush interview, Duterte said Land Bank, which was created in 1963, was crafted to serve enterprises and banking needs of people who cannot or who can barely negotiate with a bank.
“One of these are the (land) awardees --- beneficiaries… (it) cannot be accepted as collateral. Because they are afraid that they cannot pay then you cannot get your money,” he explained recalling that during the Marcos regime, Land Bank officials went to the mountains.
Duterte said there is no need to give money as farmers can have loans through fertilizers and seedlings.
“They have to serve primarily the people. That’s why they are called Land Bank. I suppose that was what really what was intended by the lawmakers at that time,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS