IN SUPPORT of the economic recovery of local communities from the pandemic, the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) recently joined the inauguration of the newly opened Belison Public Market in Belison, Antique, which is expected to help boost the town’s local economy.
Landbank provided an P80 million loan for the infrastructure project dubbed as the “Modern Agora,” designed to be the first public market to look like a mall in the Province of Antique, with 124 stalls for meat, fish, vegetable, fruits, dry goods, and grocery produce.
The market is also expected to open new economic opportunities to more than 6,000 farmers in Belison and its neighboring municipalities of Patnongon and Sibalom.
“We are proud to support the Municipality of Belison in establishing a hub for local economic development. Landbank likewise remains committed to helping farmers and fishers by putting up markets for their produce,” said Landbank president and CEO Lynette V. Ortiz.
Belison Mayor Christopher Piccio and Vice Mayor Reynaldo Jacaba recently led the official opening of the Belison Public Market for vendors and residents, together with Landbank Senior Vice President Delma Bandiola and Antique Lending Center Head Engr. Roy C. Gonzaga, alongside members of the Sangguniang Bayan and other local officials.
“We are grateful for Landbank’s assistance to us. Despite the fact that we are among the smallest municipalities in terms of area, population, and share of National Tax Allotment, we were able to access a loan with Landbank to improve our town,” said Piccio.
He added that the LGU plans to further tap the services of Landbank for the Phase II development of the public market.
Landbank financed the public market under the Rise Up (Restoration and Invigoration package for a Self-sufficient Economy towards UPgrowth for LGUs) Lending Program, designed to help ensure the resilient and sustainable recovery of local economies from the pandemic.
The bank has approved loans under the Program totaling P114.7 billion for 412 LGUs as of 30 June 2023.
Provincial, city and municipal governments may borrow from Landbank to finance their development and innovative projects geared toward rebuilding their communities and local economies.
Landbank likewise remains the biggest development partner of the LGU sector, with a total of P97.5 billion in outstanding loans extended to LGUs nationwide as of end-June 2023.
Landbank is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month, representing six decades of uplifting lives, empowering communities, and serving the nation — all in pursuit of an inclusive and sustainable economy. (PR)