MANILA -- The Land Bank of the Philippines is inviting Filipino inventors to avail of its assistance to commercialize their inventions, an executive said.
"We encourage borrowers to avail of this assistance. Because as of now, only a few have availed (of) this, and we have allotted a huge fund for this," LandBank Program Management Department 2 vice president, Generoso David, told inventors during a forum here Wednesday.
The loanable amount, David said, depends on the project, and LandBank, together with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), could finance up to 85 percent of the project cost.
Inventors who have tie-ups with companies are also eligible for this loan, he said.
In 2017, LandBank and DOST - Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) signed a partnership for the launch of I-TECH (Innovation and Technology Lending Program), a special financing window they would provide to support the commercial production of patented Filipino inventions.
A lower interest rate for loan assistance will be provided to qualified inventors, according to LandBank. TAPI, on the other hand, will use its Invention Guarantee Fund (IGF) for this program.
In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), David explained that LandBank has allotted more than PHP1 billion for I-TECH. However, since its launch in 2017, only four inventors were referred by TAPI, and LandBank had released only PHP8 million for these four.
"This is why we encourage them to avail of this loan. Because we have the money, and yet no one is availing of the assistance," he said.
David also clarified that inventors could not just approach LandBank. They have to be endorsed by DOST-TAPI.
"Because it is the TAPI who could determine the technical viability of the proposals. On the business side, we could determine if it is viable. We would determine the project's profitability -- where would the inventor source the raw materials, how would he or she market the product, etc.," he said.
LandBank would also determine if the inventor has no unpaid credit cards and bouncing checks.
David noted that this is also the reason why it would be better for inventors to partner with companies, which could not just help them in finances, but would also help them market their products.
"If the proposal is very risky, and looks like it would not generate much income, then we would ask for collateral," he told the inventors present in the forum.
"If your inventions are viable and would help (the public), then LandBank would come in to help you," he added.
David said there is no limit as to how much one could loan from Landbank. The cap would be the 85 percent.
"If the inventor needs PHP200 million, then he could borrow up to 85 percent of that PHP200 million," he said.
The executive also clarified that TAPI could only allot PHP5 million per inventor. Thus, the rest of what's needed to complete the 85 percent would all be shouldered by LandBank.
Loans would be payable for a maximum of 10 years, he said. (PNA)