MANILA — A party-list lawmaker has initiated a congressional inquiry into government banks’ transaction policies, particularly on Land Bank of the Philippines’s reported loan grants without adequate collateral.
ABAKADA Party-list Rep. Jonathan A. Dela Cruz is author of House Resolution 1979 “directing the House Committees on Banks and Financial Intermediaries and Good Government and Public Accountability to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the policy and transactions of government banks, particularly the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and its subsidiaries in extending loans and other credit accommodations without adequate collateral and other unsafe and unsecured practices and for other purposes.”
“Banks and other financial institutions are required to exercise the highest degree of care and diligence in their transactions since the banking business is one that is impressed with public interest,” Dela Cruz stressed.
HR 1979 states that the LBP Leasing Corporation, which is 100 percent owned by the LBP, was created in line with Section 21-A of R.A. 337 or the General Bank Act, to engage in leasing of all kinds of equipment, extend credit to industrial, commercial, agricultural and other enterprise and engage in financing of merchandise in all their various forms.
The lawmaker noted that the LBP leasing Corporation extended loans in the amount of PHP10 million to secure the credit facility of Upeast Security Agency, Inc. and PHP70 million to secure the credit facility of Pharma and Healthcare Specialists, Inc.
“Despite the fact that the total estimated zonal value of the mortgaged parcels of land amounts to only PHP39,404,625 and, therefore, substantially lower than the principal amount of loans and insufficient to justify the amounts granted,” he pointed out.
Section 37 of R.A. 8791 or the General Banking Law of 2000 provides that “Except as the Monetary Board may otherwise prescribe, loans and other credit accommodation against real estate shall not exceed 75 percent of the appraised value of the respective real estate security, plus 60 oercent of the appraised value of the insured improvements and such loans may be made to the owner of the real estate or to his assignees.”
“The State recognizes the vital role of banks and other financial institutions in providing an environment conducive to the sustained development of the national economy and the fiduciary nature of banking that requires high standards of integrity and performance,” Dela Cruz stressed.