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DA launches lending program for marginal farmers, fishers

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has launched a nationwide lending program that aims to address the financial needs of the marginal farmers and fishers, especially those in the 10 poorest provinces of the country.

MB File - Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, speaks before officials and employees of the Agriculture Department, at their main office along Eliptical Road in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores) / 2016.mb.com.ph

MB File – Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, speaks before officials and employees of the Agriculture Department, at their main office along Eliptical Road in Quezon City. (Mark Balmores) / 2016.mb.com.ph

DA Secretary Manny Piñol led the launching of the nationwide Program for Unified Lending to Agriculture (PUNLA) in Northern Samar (Catarman) last September 15, and Eastern Samar (Borongan) last September 16.

Together with Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola of DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), Piñol set in motion the lending facility which covers 10 of the poorest Philippine provinces.

“This is part of the government’s effort to provide trouble-free services to rural communities, as we want to make things easier for them,” Piñol said.

“The problem with the current credit systems is that it has too many requirements, and so farmers are often intimidated to approach a bank officer especially when he is wearing his usual rubber slippers,” he added.