P50B proposed for new farmers, fishermen’s loan facility
The Department of Agriculture (DA) has proposed an initial fund of P50 billion for a Farmers and Fishermens Quick Credit Facility, which would be a larger and consolidated loan program for farmers and fisher folk.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol made the proposal before the House committee on credit policy and small enterprises, and Misamis Oriental Rep. Peter Unabia, committee chairman, asked Piñol to submit a draft bill.
Piñol said he will also ask President Duterte to make the bill a priority legislation so that it could be included in the 2018 General Appropriations Act.
Under the proposal, beneficiaries could get a maximum loan of P25,000 per hectare for a small farmer. The interest rate would be up to 6 percent, with no collateral.
Piñol said the DA is finalizing its registry of fishermen and farmers so that loan applicants would only have to present IDs with biometrics and a passbook.
He said government has many loan programs which have banks and cooperatives as conduits but availment is very low because of the high interest and long list of requirements.