Duterte threatens to abolish Landbank

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) to be abolished or reconfigured if it continues to "act like a commercial bank" instead of serving the interests of farmers.

"What the heck is wrong with you? You are supposed to finance agricultural enterprises and endeavors," Duterte said in his 4th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 22.

"Why are you mired in so many commercial transactions? Return to where you were created for and that is to help the farmers," he added in a mix of English and Filipino.

Duterte said Landbank should come out with a viable plan. Otherwise, he said, Congress should abolish or reconfigure it.

In April 2018, the President already called out Landbank for the same reasons, in front of farmers.

"The problem is when you give credit and you ask for something in return, it is not really freely given because there's a fee and that fee does not go to government but to someone else's pocket," said Duterte in Sultan Kudarat, while giving out land titles.

Landbank is currently led by Cecilia Borromeo. She was sworn into office in March 2019. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.