NAGA CITY –To hasten rehabilitation assistance to the farmers recently affected by the horrendous rains brought by typhoon Usman in the close of 2018, the Department of Agriculture together with the Agricultural and Credit Policy Council (ACPC) convened the Provincial and Municipal Agriculturists and Municipal Credit Focal Persons of the municipalities in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte whose agricultural areas were damaged by the typhoon. The Consultation on PLEA and SURE programs was held on January 15, 2019 at Villa Caceres Hotel, this city.

Ding Pereyra, Project Development Officer II of the ACPC introduced the new loan program of the DA which are PLEA (Production Loan Easy Access) and SURE (Survival and Recovery Program). SURE is a quick response, post-disaster support facility of the DA in areas under “State of Calamity.” Under this loan window, an emergency loan or survival assistance amounting to P5,000 can be availed of immediately by the farmer-borrower (small farmers and fisherfolks). An additional recovery assistance amounting to P20,000 shall be loaned out to the farmer-borrower without interest and payable in three years. Those farmers who are recipients of the 4Ps are not entitled to the P5,000 emergency loan but they can avail of the P20,000 recovery assistance. The purpose of the loan is to finance the rehabilitation of their damaged farms or start new livelihood activities. Meanwhile, under the PLEA, farmer-borrowers can avail up to P50,000 to finance production of short term crops and up to P150,000 at 6% interest rate per annum to finance production of high value commercial crops.

Many farmers have already availed of the loan facilities under the SURE program particularly those affected by typhoons Nina and Yolanda in Camarines Sur. They can still avail of the SURE in connection with typhoon Usman provided they are up-to-date in their repayment of their previous loan. The ACPC has issued a moratorium of one (1) year for the loans under previous typhoons to give them ample time to recover.

Meanwhile, Pereyra also introduced two newest loan windows – the Working Capital Loan and the Farm Machinery Loan. The Working Capital Loan of up to P5 million is open to cooperatives and associations with established market and facilities, to finance working capital requirements of trading, marketing and processing of agri-fishery products. Meanwhile, the Farm Machinery Loan is open to individual farmers and can be used to finance acquisition of farm machineries, equipment facilities for production, harvesting to postharvest. The loanable amount shall be the acquisition cost of either one type of machinery (stand alone) or set of machineries (combo package).

Adelina A. Losa, Chief of Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) which is the ACPC’s partner in SURE and PLEA implementation, also solicited the assistance of the LGUs to fastrack the submission of list of qualified farmer beneficiaries and conduit banks and cooperatives in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. Losa said they are relying on the validated list of farmers affected by typhoon Usman submitted by the Municipal Agriculturists. She also urged the provincial and municipal LGUs of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte to endorse more potential lending conduits to the ACPC to add to the existing conduits.

Present during the consultation were existing conduits in Cam. Sur and Albay namely: Maymatan Multipurpose Coop based in Goa, Cam. Sur; Camarines Sur Multipurpose Coop based in Pili, Cam. Sur; Sampaloc Multipurpose Coop of Gainza, Cam. Sur; Camalig Bank in Albay and Banco Santiago De Libon.

In Albay province which was placed under “State of Calamity” in 2018 due to Mayon volcano eruption, the ACPC has released close to P100 million to the conduits —- P80 million under the SURE program and P18 million under the PLEA program, Pereyra added. (Lovella P. Guarin / photos by Jun Collantes)