MANILA – State-owned Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) has extended a PHP67-million loan to the provincial government of Quirino to finance a reliable and high-speed internet connection.
In a press release on Thursday, Landbank said the fund was sourced from its Restoration and Invigoration package for a Self-sufficient Economy towards UPgrowth for LGUs (RISE UP local government units) lending program.
The loan was used to cover the installation of Wi-Fi equipment in public schools and markets, rural health units (RHUs), municipal and barangay halls and other public spaces.
“Once completed this year, the project will provide students and residents with free internet access with speed of up to two gigabytes per second,” it said.
The bank said the free Wi-Fi project is expected to lift the province’s education, healthcare, tourism and public services “by enabling and enhancing access to convenient online platforms.”
“Landbank’s financing facility is a big boost to the initiatives of LGUs. It provides relief to struggling LGUs while we ramp-up our efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic,” Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said.
Landbank’s RISE UP LGUs lending program was initially allocated a PHP10-billion budget in 2020 but it was hiked to PHP150 billion to help finance more projects. It will be available until July 2025.
Qualified projects for funding include the purchase of agricultural produce, acquisition of equipment and construction of facilities to link products to markets, as well as funding for basic and support services, social welfare, healthcare and other infrastructure activities.
Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo said the bank “continues to support local government partners toward full recovery from the pandemic, while also strengthening their capacity to withstand future crises.”
“We aim to help develop resilient communities as part of our expanded mandate of serving the nation,” she added. (PNA)