A total of 898 small farmers and fishers (SFF) in Eastern Visayas whose livelihood were affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19 have availed of the emergency loan assistance of the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC).

DA-ACPC released P22.5 million credit funds to Metro Ormoc Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (OCCCI) and LC Rural Bank of Dulag – its partner lending conduits in the region.

OCCCI, with an approved P17.5 million fund allocation, has 10 active branches in the provinces of Leyte, Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar, disbursed loan funds under the SURE COVID-19 program, benefitting 700 SFF.

Meanwhile, the Rural Bank of Dulag in Leyte disbursed a total of P4.9 million, serving 198 SFF.

ACPC Program Management Field Officer for Eastern Visayas Giemar Llano said that in order to ensure the safety and protection of the borrowers during loan processing and release, health protocols were strictly enforced by ACPC, DA-Regional Field Office, local government units, and the lending conduits.

The Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project or SURE COVID-19 is a financing program of the DA-ACPC that offers noncollaterized, no interest loan of P25,000 per household payable in 10 years.

“This is our way of helping our small farmers and fishers recover from their losses, as they play a crucial role in ensuring the availability of food supply in Metro Manila and other urban centers,” said Agriculture Chief William Dar.

Since the implementation of the community quarantine across the country, ACPC, as the credit policy and program development arm of the DA, beefed up its credit financing programs to provide accessible, timely, and convenient loan assistance to farmers and fishers – being the most vulnerable sectors – amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Borrowers from Eastern Samar (OCCCI – Borongan branch)

Borrowers from Western Samar (OCCCI – Calbayog branch)

Borrowers from Northern Samar (OCCCI – Catarman branch)