The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) together with local generics medicine brand RiteMed, and Voyager Innovations announced a new financial technology service on Friday that enables access to cheaper medicines via digital lending service.
The government financial institution partnered RiteMed for the all new TxTMED program, which allows borrowers to allocate a portion of their approved net loan proceeds for the purchase of medicines. RiteMed will make available a range of maintenance medicines at special discounted prices.
TxTMED serves as an expansion of the Landbank Mobile Loan Saver (LMLS), the first paperless and fully electronic loan application service in the Philippines powered by Voyager’s financial technology arm FINTQ.
Voyager is the digital innovations unit of telco giant PLDT and its wholly owned mobile phone and internet service subsidiary Smart Communications Inc (Smart).
Now also telco-agnostic, LMLS is available across all telco providers and has been expanded to include private sector employees. The inclusion of small farmers and fishers, microenterprises and SMEs, and Overseas Filipinos is also underway, making it more expansive to promote inclusive growth and digital financial inclusion.
The LMLS has been recognized by the GSMA Mobile Money Programme as the first of its kind in the world for being a three-in-one mobile loan application service with auto-savings build-up features.
Voyager disclosed the TxTMED program will be available within the last quarter of the year, and is expectd to enable government employees and private sector workers with payroll accounts with Landbank to seamlessly order and purchase medicines through their mobile phones, without the hassle of outright cash payment.
Landbank officer-in-charge and executive vice president Cecilia Borromeo said the initiative was launched to help address the financial burden of high medicine costs on many Filipinos.
“This is yet another showcase of the endless possibilities in terms of financial technology and digital lending, especially as we hope to reach out and provide financial and other services to more Filipinos across the country,” Borromeo said.
RiteMed general manager Vincent Patrick Guerrero said the TxTMED program will initially cover more than 700,000 government employees but will not include teachers, military and police personnel.
Medicines ordered via LMLS will also be delivered for free in sealed packs to the concerned government agency or company office where the borrower is employed, within a week from the time of loan approval and release.
“The burden of coping with the daily cost of maintenance medicines, not to mention certain catastrophic diseases, have caused much physical, emotional and economic strains to Filipino families most especially to the public sector who have limited earning capacities,” Guerrero said. “We are quite optimistic that with the technology of FINTQ and the nationwide network of Landbank, we would be able to fulfill the objective of RiteMed’s Tamang Alaga program of providing access to quality healthcare for all Filipinos.”
The latest collaboration of public and private organizations takes the LMLS to another level, following its successful roll-out among government employees, with loan releases amounting to over P12 billion as of August 2016 since it started. This has benefited more than 80,000 employees from over 1,200 participating agencies since the program’s commercial launch in January 2015.