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DA sought to be fully transparent in loan disbursement

A group of small fishermen is demanding full transparency from the Department of Agriculture (DA) regarding the latter’s loan disbursements to farmers and fisherfolks.

In a statement, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) has demanded transparency and explanation from Agriculture Secretary William Dar after a noticeable discrepancy in its loan grants presented to Congress.

In the eight Report to the House of Representatives, the DA reported that under its Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project, it has already granted 4,751 loan beneficiaries out of the 40,000 targeted beneficiaries.

But despite having only served 11 percent of the target, P432 million out of its P1 billion budget was already reported as utilized.

The said loan program aims to provide zero-interest loans to marginalized farmers and fisherfolk in the amount of P5,000 each.

However, if computed based on figures from the report, beneficiaries would have received more than P90,000 each, PAMALAKAYA pointed out.

“Secretary Dar has a lot of explaining things to do in regards to the questionable distribution of their loan program for the marginalized farmers and fishers. Despite the accomplishment reports, many of our farmers and fisherfolks are still seeking financial aid and support for production,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson, said in a statement.

The fisherfolk group also reechoed the sentiment of the peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) that the DA’s financial aid under its program “Plant, Plant, Plant” or “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa Covid-19” is a “platform for corruption.”

“The farmers and fishers who continue to endure the onslaught of the pandemic deserve explanation and full transparency from the DA. Hindi na nga dapat pautang, hindi pa naipapamahagi nang maayos,” Hicap further said.


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