Farmer tells BBM why farmers oppose merger of LBP and DBP

May 18, 2023, 12:00 AM
Sonny Domingo

Sonny Domingo


PBBM: What's this I hear about agrarian farmers objecting to the merging of Landbank with DBP?

KA MON; Yes Mr. President. This is because LANDBANK has not yet complied with its mandate to help develop agrarian communities by lending to them common service facilities like rice mills, cold storage, soil laboratory and production credit logistics etc. My source tells me that LandBank has been manipulating its annual reports to show that it continuously lends to farmers by just restructuring existing loans when in fact they are buying treasury bill by the billions instead of complying with the original PD 717 that was watered down by Congress favoring the Bankers Association of the Philippines thus depriving credit to the unbankables like the farmers. In fact, this practice has been legitimized by virtue of a Bangko Sentral memorandum that allowed them to use part of the mandated 25 percent lending to farmers for use in government securities.

Until now it has NOT developed farmer- friendly credit programs resulting in negative production of our farmers thereby necessitating importation of 3 million metric tons of rice that is being brought in every harvest season with the connivance of GOVERNMENT agencies and the unscrupulous rice cartel.

PBBM: But they are supposed to be represented in the LBP Board to make sure that they are following their mandate.

KA MON: On paper, yes Sir they are political appointees and most often have limited knowledge in banking and supervised credit (unlike a farmer leader that I know who has been trained in Supervised Credit and Rural Development under a Ford Foundation grant).

PBBM: But I am told by Secretary Diokno that the merger will save the government billions of pesos.

KA MON: Mr. PRESIDENT, you will be accused of technical condonation of the multimillion loans given to DBP-favored persons that remain uncollected until now using government pastureland and fishponds leased to them as collateral. The government will therefore lose billions instead contrary to the claim of Sec. DIOKNO. Also, hundreds of well- trained banking personnel in DBP will lose their jobs due to redundancy. Furthermore, it will delay the progress of the prospective beneficiaries of both banks by at least three years. Development is going forward not backwards. The merging will further delay the development of agrarian communities that need to be organized into CASH (Corporate Agrarian Systems cum Housing). This will further bring us to the brink of a civil war.

PBBM: That cannot happen. We are a gentle people.

KA MON; That has already started this with a food blockade after the Cory administration, the Mendiola Massacre of 13 farmer leaders (where democracy died that day by the very people that claimed to have regained democracy from what they called the "dictatorship." Let this be a fair warning to you Mr. President.


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