The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) launched the 2022 Countryside Bank Survey (CBS) at the BSP, Manila on May 3, 2024. Said survey analyzes trends and presents emerging policy issues on bank behavior towards lending to the agriculture sector using branch-level data

“Research is integral to the work that we do at the DA and ACPC. Without accurate data and a holistic framework as an anchor to guide our policies and programs, we would not be able to properly perform our mandates,” ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola said.

“The CBS is a very useful tool for tracking the progress of the amendment of the loan quota laws.  We compared the data from the last year of R.A. 10000 and the first year of R.A. 11901. Universal compliance among all banks in the last year of R.A. 10000 was 10% against the goal of 25% while compliance in the first year of R.A. 11901 was 40% percent as against the goal of 25%. A major improvement,” said Monetary Board Member and concurrent ACPC Vice Chair V. Bruce Tolentino.

ACPC Director Magdalena Casuga, together with Dr. Veronica Bayangos, Mr. Ferdinand So, and Mr. Jade Eric Redoblado of the BSP Research Academy (BRAc) led the presentation of the 2022 CBS.

“This study is vital, as we want to be able to see how banks comply with the new law over time, and how they adapt to the ever-evolving risks, changes, and challenges in delivering agri credit to the countryside,” said DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel in his speech delivered by DA Undersecretary Nora Oliveros.  “We also want to outline how the government can best support the growth and development of the sector,” he added.

The 2022 CBS, participated in by 5,560 banking units, looked into the practices and outcomes of various aspects of branch banking operations in 2022. These include the (a) demand for loan products and services; (b) loans and borrowers; (c) interest rates and other charges on bank loans; (d) borrowers’ repayment and debt position; (e) risk management mechanism; (f) problems and challenges in agri lending; (g) profitability of bank branch/office operation; and (h) plans and expectations by banks for the next year.

“In light of the 2021 BSP Financial Inclusion Survey which reveals that still 73% of our farmers are unbanked, today’s discussion takes on added urgency. Your presence here today is instrumental in fostering meaningful dialogue on this pressing issue underlining the vital partnership of BSP and the banking sector in extending credit access to our farm communities, especially smallholder farmers and fisherfolk,” shared BSP Deputy Governor Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The activity was also participated in by Monetary Board Members Anita Linda R. Aquino, Romeo L. Bernardo, and Rosalia V. De Leon.

Follow the DA-ACPC’s official Facebook page to know more about the key findings of the 2022 CBS report.