₱5.28 billion loans released to MSMEs, co-ops as of end-January, LandBank says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 28) — Land Bank of the Philippines on Sunday said a total of ₱5.28 billion out of the ₱6.95 billion approved loans were already released to struggling micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives under its financing program targeted for enterprises hit by COVID-19.

In a statement, LandBank said there were 227 borrowers who availed of the loan assistance. Of these, 167 are MSMEs, 34 cooperatives, four microfinance institutions (MFIs), and three large corporations as of end-January.

The loans were released under the Interim Rehabilitation Support to Cushion Unfavorably affected Enterprises by Covid-1 or I-RESCUE lending program.

Established in April last year, the program seeks to provide credit and loan restructuring under more flexible terms and conditions to MSMEs, MFIs, and cooperatives.

According to LandBank, the I-RESCUE program allows enterprises and corporations to borrow a maximum of 85% of their emergency or working capital requirement, at an affordable interest rate of 5 percent per annum, payable up to a maximum of five years, with grace period on the principal payment.

"We are enhancing the I-RESCUE Lending Program to cover a wider range of key industries that need greater access to credit," LandBank President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo was quoted as saying in the statement.

The state-run lender said it is targeting to offer a new sub-credit facility for MSMEs, cooperatives, and self-employed individuals, allowing them to borrow a minimum amount of ₱100,000 or up to 85% of their working capital, at a lower fixed interest rate of 3% per annum.

"LandBank is keeping in step with emerging requirements under the new normal in support of the country’s ongoing economic recovery,” Borromeo added.