DA to set up loan facilitating offices in provinces
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA), through its credit agency Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), will establish starting this month Loan Facilitation Teams (LFT) in every province which will be tasked to assist farmers, fishermen and other agriculture stakeholders who would like to avail of the government’s loaning program.
The Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), the education and extension agency of the DA, will also conduct Financial Literacy Workshops for farmers, fishermen and members of cooperatives and associations who would like to avail of the Easy Access Financing of government.
“These were the two major moves agreed on during the one-day workshop of top officials of the Agriculture Department and its line agencies as it slowly shifts its production support programs from subsidies to easy-access financing,” Piñol said.
The Loan Facilitation Offices, whose locations in the provinces will be published soon, will assist the farmers and fishermen, associations and cooperatives in complying with all the requirements.
“Ideally, after we have validated the identify of the loan applicant and the association that he belongs to, all that he needs to do should be just a sign a piece of paper so he could avail of a loan. All documents must be prepared by the Loan Facilitation Team,” Piñol said.
This move from subsidies to Easy Access Financing follows the approval by President Rodrigo Duterte of Piñol’s recommendation that the DA should start abandoning its seeds, fertilizer and farm machinery and equipment subsidies program which has been marked with issues of corruption and slow implementation over the years.