Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola presented the current state of rural finance in the country as well as the ACPC Programs including the Easy-to-Access Loans during the 2019 Annual General Membership Meeting of the Confederation of Central Luzon Rural Banks (CCLRB) on November 21, 2019 in Pampanga. The activity served as a platform for the ACPC and CCLRB to discuss partnership in bringing financial services to the rural areas and in advocating sustainable and inclusive rural growth.
Exec. Dir Badiola discussed the prospects of cooperation with rural banks including the continuous engagement of Government Financial Institutions (GFIs) and private banks including rural banks to develop and enhance innovative financing schemes to improve farmers and fisherfolk’s access to credit.
“The ACPC is collaborating with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in drafting a bill that will address the banks’ compliance with the Agri Agra Law. Called “Strengthening the Financing System for Agricultural and Rural Development in the Philippines,” the bill seeks to expand the modes of alternative compliance so that banks will be encouraged to invest in rural communities especially in agriculture and agrarian reform areas,” Exec. Dir. Badiola said.
She also mentioned that said draft bill seeks to reconstitute the Governing Council of the ACPC, with representation from commercial banks, rural banks, thrift banks, cooperative banks, and microfinance institutions.
“With you, the rural banks, we can craft appropriate policies aimed at creating an environment conducive to lending to the agriculture and fisheries sector,” she added.
Other topics presented during the activity included the updates on Central Luzon Regional Development Plan by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), prospects of cooperation with PhilGuarantee Corporation, updates from the BSP, and initiatives of CCLRB and Southern Tagalog Confederation, among others.