State-run Land Bank of the Philippines said Tuesday it launched a P2-billion loan program to help commercial fishing operators to upgrade or acquire new vessels.
LandBank president and chief executive Cecilia Borromeo said the new credit facility would be available under the commercial fishing vessel financing program.
“LandBank remains steadfast in supporting the fisheries sector. We are looking to cover the requirements for fishing vessels to assist more fishers in boosting their production and profit, and contribute to ensuring food security in the country,” she said.
The program gives eligible borrowers an opportunity to apply for loan of up to 80 percent of the acquisition cost of a brand-new, second-hand or refurbished commercial fishing boat and related equipment for their business.
Eligible borrowers include commercial fishing operators from small and medium enterprises, cooperatives and large enterprises.
The bank will provide readily available and affordable credit at an interest rate of 5 percent per annum for three years, subject to re-pricing and payable up to 10 years.
Commercial fishing vessels refer to fishing boats, ships or watercraft with gross tonnage of 3.1 and up. Financing of the vessels should be in accordance with Maritime Industry Authority standards and supported by a MARINA certificate of ship registry.
LandBank said the boats should also be in seaworthy condition, properly equipped with life-saving, communication, safety and other equipment and operated and maintained in accordance with the standards set by MARINA.