LANDBANK launches P10-billion program for LGUs to buy local palay
The Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) announced they are working with with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on a new lending program to Local Government Units (LGU) to aid the farmers amid the effect of the Rice Tariffication Law.
The DA and LANDBANK collaborated on “PAlay aLAY sa Magsasaka ng Lalawigan (PALAY ng Lalawigan”, a project which will empower the LGUs to purchase palay produced by local farmers to offset the drop in the farmgate prices of palay in some regions.
The Bank has set an allocation P10 billion to fund the program to assist provincial, municipal and city governments of rice-producing areas nationwide to procure palay from small farmers, with a low interest rate of two per cent (2%) per annum. The Bank is considering aligning its pricing with the recent announcement of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Governing Board that pegged the price of wet palay at P16.00 per kilo and dry palay at P19.00 per kilo.
“This is a direct response of the Bank, together with the Department of Agriculture, to the call of the national government for a concerted effort of government agencies serving the agriculture sector to firm up its support for our palay farmers in the wake of the impact of lower palay prices,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
Earlier in September, 19 governors from the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) have already made an agreement with DA secretary William Dar to join this program. Under this project, the Provincial Government will buy local palay and may operate a socio-economic enterprise to assist the farmers whose incomes were adversely affected by the drop in the farmgate prices of palay.
The PALAY ng Lalawigan Program complements the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by DA and LANDBANK last August 28, 2019 for the implementation of the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid) Program where rice farmers who are tilling one hectare of rice farm and below may avail of a one-time, zero-interest, no collateral loan of P15,000 payable in eight years.
The SURE Aid Program, with an initial allocation of P1.5-billion from ACPC, was launched by DA and LANDBANK last September 2, 2019 in Zaragoza, Nueva Ecija where more than 1,000 rice farmers from Nueva Ecija and Tarlac received their SURE Aid LANDBANK Cash Cards containing the assistance.