THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

63rd ACPC Governing Council Meeting: Make credit access easier for the Filipino Farmers — Piñol

Author: DA-AFID | 1 February 2017

Department of Agriculture Secretary and Chairman of the Governing Council of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Manny Piñol together with the members of the Council and ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola discussed ways to improve credit facilities making it more accessible and available for the Filipino farmer during a round table meeting held at the DA Central Office on the last day of January 2017.

“The absence of financing for farmers created a monumental problem in agriculture in the past,” Piñol said while emphasizing the need for a simple, fast, and reliable financing program for farmers and fisherfolks.

“Time is essential especially for farmers. A two weeks delay in planting means they may not be able to harvest on time especially before the typhoon season,” he added.

PUNLA or Program for Unified Lending in Agriculture aims to simplify and consolidate the agri lending programs of the government from around 7 down to 2-3 credit facilities providing a more convenient and less complex lending scheme to farmers and fishers.

PUNLA with an initial funding of P200 million targets to boost the respective agri-fishery industries of the 10 poorest provinces in the country.

The program provides lending for farmers and fisherfolk groups with less stringent requirements, faster fund-releasing time and low interest rates.

Another lending program that was discussed was the SURE Loan Program with P1 billion fund pledged by President Duterte. The President’s commitment followed after the recent visit and assessment of Sec. Piñol in flood stricken provinces in Mindanao.

SURE provides two packages – the Survival Package of P15,000 for food and subsistence and the Recovery Package of P20,000 for the farmer and fisherman to be used for buying fertilizers and farm inputs and enable them to recover. Both packages are interest and collateral free and payable in three years. (by Carlos Baldosa/photo by Alarico Nuestro – AFID)

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