Landbank vows to submit plans for farmers after Duterte threat
Marje Pelayo • July 24, 2019 • 1911
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has promised to submit its plans and programs for the agriculture sector following a threat from President Rodrigo Duterte that he would have it abolished for failure to serve its purpose.
Landbank is the main depository and servicing bank of the government with a special focus on serving the needs of farmers and fishermen in the countryside.
During his fourth state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday (July 22), the President lambasted the Landbank for being “mired in so many commercial transactions” while doing little to help out farmers and coconut growers.
The President said, “You know, you are called Landbank but you are now the number one commercial bank in the Philippines. What the heck is happening to you? You are supposed to finance agricultural enterprises and endeavors. Bakit wala (Why none)?”
“Go to the countryside and ask the people if there are cooperatives, tulungan ninyo to form one,” he added.
The President has given the Landbank until end of July to submit a viable plan for agricultural institutions and the local farmers otherwise he will ask Congress to act.
“I’m asking now Congress, if there is no viable plan for that for the farmers and it is just all commercial transactions, might as well abolish it (Landbank),” he warned.
In response, Landbank in a statement on Tuesday (July 23) vowed to comply with the President’s instructions and promised to further enhance its service channels to reach its primary clients – “the small farmers and fishers, and the agricultural sector at large.”
“We shall also be strengthening partnerships with cooperatives farmer groups and associations as well as collaboration with other key agencies and government units,” the Landbank said in the statement.
“As a matter of fact, together with the office of the provincial governor of Cotabato, we have a scheduled roadshow with initially 400 farmers, including those who never had financial access. This will just be the first of many,” it added.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.
In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.
“Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.
The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.
Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.
“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.
The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.
He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.
“May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.
“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
The Presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo is now ready to accept coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients after its conversion into a floating quarantine facility.
The Philippine Navy (PN) said it can accommodate a total of 28 patients with five medical personnel.
“Three exclusive compartments were prepared by PN personnel for the patients with temporary division in place observing 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff are given different access points,” their statement reads.
The Navy added that the crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility.
PPEs were provided for the crew and rapid antibody tests were also conducted on them.
The ship’s remodeling began 48 hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to utilize the ship for COVID-19 patients. AAC
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday (April 2) said the ‘shoot them dead’ order of President Rodrigo Duterte was only a warning for lawless elements.
PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac said the PNP is not taking the order literally.
“Iyong pahayag ng Pangulo ay magsisilbing babala lalo na sa mga magtatangka na gumawa ng karahasan, tiyak na ang parusa ng batas ay ipapataw sa iyo (The President’s statement serves as a warning to those who will attempt to cause violence, you will certainly face punishment from the law),” he said.
Banac said law-abiding residents have nothing to worry about because the PNP is always ready to serve the people.
“Ang ating batas ay nariyan para sa kabutihan ng lahat. At sinoman na lalabag ay mananagot sa batas. Ang PNP naman ay tagapagpatupad. Wala naman po dapat ipangamba dahil ang PNP ay kakampi at maglilingkod sa inyo (Our law is here for the good of everyone. And anyone who will violate the law will be accountable. The PNP implements the law. There is no need to worry because the PNP is an ally and will serve you),” Banac said.-AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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