PSA cited DA’s easy access credit program and SAAD
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), in its latest report on effective programs of the government, cited two projects of the Department of Agriculture (DA) as having posted positive gains in addressing productivity and poverty in the countryside.
These programs are the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) and the Special Area for Agricultural Development (SAAD).
PSA said PLEA allows farmers, fisherfolk and other agriculture stakeholders to borrow money from the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) through conduit banks without any collateral at 6 percent interest per year, while SAAD livelihood programs were recorded to have greatly helped the rural poor.
“This is the kind of program that we are offering as an alternative to the 4Ps. Here the poor are given the financial support to start a project which could earn them more money if managed properly. The harder they work, the more they will earn,” Piñol said
“That is, of course, a lot better than just wait for the periodic cash dole-out from government which provides them a specific amount to spend and nothing more,” he added.
To recall, Piñol is currently pushing for the diversion of 4Ps funds as livelihood funds.
The PLEA, along with the newly-approved Agriculture and Fisheries Machinery and Equipment (AFME) Loan Program, was designed following the realization that one of the biggest problems of agriculture and fisheries stakeholders was where to source money to buy seeds, fertilizers, fishing gears, machinery and equipment.
The SAAD Program, on the other hand, targets the 10 poorest provinces of the country where the DA delivers special interventions like livelihood projects which include duck raising, backyard chicken raising, native pig raising, goat raising, food processing, fish drying and packaging.