PRRD tells Landbank to approach farmers, NPA surrenderers

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 34th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañan Palace on February 6, 2019. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA — Malacañang said Thursday President Rodrigo R. Duterte has directed the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to initiate engagement with farmers.

“The President said that Landbank should go to the farmers instead of the farmers going to Landbank,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

During Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, Panelo said Landbank presented a program where they can give “loans among others”.

“Also, Landbank mentioned about 361,000 farmers with existing individual Certificates of Land Ownership Awards who will be qualified for a bank loan,” he said.

“Landbank said the moment a CLOA is issued, it can be used as collateral for a loan,” he added.

Panelo said the President also wants to include New People’s Army (NPA) surrenderers in the government’s land reform program.

Meanwhile, Panelo said Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol reported some programs for farmers and fisherfolk.

He said the “bucket list” for implementation includes farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems, including a solar-powered system, to be financed by an Israeli company, storage facilities, activation of regional food terminals, strengthening of the Roll-on, Roll-off (Ro-Ro) programs, easy access for farmers, institutionalization of a farmer-fisher folk credit union, and creation of a Cabinet cluster. (PNABy Earl Jed Roque

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