State-run Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) on Wednesday said its loan portfolio grew by more than a tenth in the first quarter of the year as it further strengthen its support to its mandated and priority sectors.
Gilda Pico, LBP president and chief executive, said that the bank’s loan portfolio increased by 13 percent to P274 billion in January-March 2013, from the P243 billion record a year ago.
Pico attributed the increase to the growth of loans to its mandated and priority sectors, which comprised 76.3 percent of the LBP’s total loan portfolio.
“We are more committed than ever to build on gains made as we further intensify our support to farmers, fisherfolk, and our other priority sectors in pursuit of our countryside development mandate,” she said.
Loans to the priority sectors, including small farmers and fisherfolk, microenterprises and SMEs, expanded to P209.1 billion, 18 percent higher than the P176.7 billion of the same period last year.
In the first quarter this year, loan releases to small farmers and fisherfolk amounted to P7.7 billion, six percent higher than the P7.3 billion of last year. These loans were channeled through 477 farmers and fisherfolk cooperatives and 151 countryside financial institutions and 55 irrigators’ associations.