Farmers to Benefit of New Loan Program

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Created on Friday, 11 July 2014

New loan window for farmers is expected to alleviate poverty in Siquijor. This , during the recent information campaign on the Agriculture and Fisheries Financing Program (AFFP) of the Agriculture Credit Policy Council (ACPC) in the municipality of Maria.

Compared to the loan shark’s interest which is pegged at 20% per month, the loan window offers a low interest of 6.5% per annum. According to Noel Clarence Ducusin, Chief of ACPC’s Program Development and Management Office (PDMO), the program has a flexible scheme which targets the small farmers and fisherfolk identified by the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture (RSBSA). Siquijor is the only province in Central Visayas identified by the RSBSA as one of the top twenty ‘poorest of the poor’ provinces by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and is the only province qualified under the said program.

Partnering with ACPC on the P1B loan program are the Landbank of the Philippines and the People’s Credit Finance Corporation (PCFC), owning P450M of the said amount.

With PCFC easing up the loan requirements, the 50 percent of the farming population in Siquijor , would likely benefit the said program, Ducusin said.

Ducusin added that the program offers more than just loan but a package of benefits such as a continous training program , technical assistance services, and a guaranteed insurance coverage from the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) to its beneficiaries. To avail of the loan, one has to fill up forms and submit the said documents to the PCFC which maybechannelled through the respective municipal agricultural offices in Siquijor. According to the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB), average annual family income of Siquijor is around P80T in 2008 or about P6T a month, a figure which is lowest compared to other provinces in Central Visayas. (Anna Delza S. Barimbao)