By Connie Destura
NAGA CITY --- The Department of Agriculture (DA)-Bicol, together with the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), turned over P31M to six cooperatives as lending conduits under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program last Friday, Aug. 18, at Villa Caceres Hotel here, DA spokesperson Emily Bordado said.
Bordado said the program wants to help agricultural households in calamity-affected areas regain their capacity to earn a living and provide immediate relief to small farmers and fisherfolk through loan and grant assistance.
Farmers and fisherfolk affected by typhoon Nina last December 2016 would be eligible borrowers of the said amount.
The lending conduits with the corresponding amount of checks were given to Camarines Sur Multi-Purpose Cooperative -P1,376,630.00; Magarao Multi-Purpose Cooperativen - P1,310,000.00; Sampaloc Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Gainza, Cam. Sur)-P810,000.00; San Antonio Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Buhi -P2,000,000.00; Pinoy Lingap-Damayan Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Catanduanes -20,595,000.00 and Maymatan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Goa, Cam. Sur -P5,000,000.00.
DA Agribusiness and Marketing Division (AMAD) Chief Adelina Loza clarified to the members that the check is a sure loan to be paid in a given point in time and those who can avail are carefully evaluated and validated.
Ding Pereyra, Project Development Officer IV, ACPC, presented an Overview of the SURE Assistance Loan.
He said the Recovery Assistance Loan has 0% interest and must be paid within three years with only 3 percent service charge.
Loan amount under the Survival Assistance (Grant) is 10,000 per borrower and 25,000 per borrower under the Recovery Assistance (loan), he added.
The SURE program was conceptualized by DA Secretary Piñol as a strategy to help ease difficulty of farmers in acquiring loans from banks and other financial institutions.