With the theme ACPC @ 30: “30 years of enhancing access of small farmers and fishers to financial services for inclusive growth,” the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) celebrated its Pearl Anniversary on April 29, 2016. A program to commemorate the milestone event was held at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City.

The program started with an invocation led by Mr. Allen Ducusin, ACPC Chief Administrative Officer. The guests were welcomed by Deputy Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola.

In her Anniversary Address, Executive Director Jovita M. Corpuz narrated how ACPC survived and triumphed through different challenges throughout the years. This was followed by the Anniversary Toast for ACPC’s continuous success led by Deputy Executive Director Ramon C. Yedra. Director Norman William S. Kraft introduced the Guest of Honor, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala of the Department of Agriculture (DA) who was represented by DA Undersecretary Allan Q. Umali, Permanent Representative of the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) to the ACPC Governing Council.

In the message read by Usec. Umali for DA Secretary Proceso Alcala, he congratulated ACPC for showing the importance of credit to Agriculture and to the whole economy. Usec. Umali also relayed the challenge posed by Sec. Alcala to continue working hand in hand to be able to sustain ACPC’s success. A certificate of appreciation was awarded to Secretary Alcala for his continuous support to ACPC.

The anniversary program was highlighted by the Ceremonial Turn-Over of P500M Credit Fund to Landbank for the Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP). Usec. Umali, Exec. Dir. Corpuz, Usec. Ignacio Demetrio of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Mr John Bugaling of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PRC) and Ms Adeliza Gabalfin of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) turned over the ceremonial check to the Land Bank of the Philippines First Vice President Ms Leila Martin.

Four farmer beneficiaries gave their testimonies on how they were able to avail themselves of loans from DA-ACPC credit programs and how these loans were able to help in their farming as proof of ACPC’s extensive reach. Three were beneficiaries of the Cooperative Banks Agri-Lending Program: Ms Janet C. Arboleda of Nueva Vizcaya, Mr. Ernesto R. Qiujano of Dumaguete and Ms Venus P. Lachica of Bukidnon. And the other one is a beneficiary of the Sikat Saka Program of Nueva Ecija, Mr. Dominador T. Ercilla.

In recognition of their contributions in molding ACPC to what it is today, former ACPC Executive Directors Dr. Gilbert Llanto (from October 1989 to July 1992), Dr. Aniceto Orbeta (from June 1992 to November 1992), and Mr. Benito F. Estacio, Jr., (from July 1994 to June 1998) were awarded certificates of appreciation by Usec. Umali and Exec. Dir. Corpuz.

Exec. Dir. Corpuz was also awarded a certificate of recognition by Usec. Umali for her contribution in stepping up ACPC as the institution for agricultural credit. The Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association Center for Training and Research for Agricultural Banking (APRACA CENTRAB), represented by its Managing Director Ms Lecira Juarez, also gave recognition to Exec. Dir. Corpuz who is also the President of the Board of Trustees of the APRACA CENTRAB. She was first elected as President of CENTRAB in July 2005.

The program was capped with a closing message of the President of the ACPC Employees Association, Mr. Alvin Cabato.

Other DA Officials who were present include Assistant Secretary Leandro Gazmin, Legal Consultant Atty. Vero Librojo, PhilFIDA OIC Executive Director Clarito Barron, NMIS Director Dr. Minda Manantan, PCC Executive Director Arnel Del Barrio, ICTS Director, Gary Glen Fantastico, NTA Administrator Edgardo Zaragoza, PCIC President Atty. Jovy Bernabe, DENR Usec. Ignacio Demetrio. DA Regional Executive Directors (REDs) and Regional Agri-Credit Desk Officers (RACDOs), farmer representatives, former ACPC employees and the DA Press Corps were also present.

Cong. Agapito Guanlao, Former DA Secretary Domingo Panganiban, Commission on Appointments Director Atty. Arturo Paras, Dr. Rolly Dy of UA&P, IFAD-APRACA Officials Dr. Prasun Das and Dr. Marlowe Aquino also graced the occasion.

ACPC program partners such as the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP), United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Postal Bank, Bukidnon Cooperative Bank, Cooperative Bank of Batangas, Cooperative Bank of Bohol, Cooperative Bank of Cagayan, Cooperative Bank of Cotabato, Cooperative Bank of Ilocos Norte,  Cooperative Bank of La Union,  Cooperative Bank of Misamis Oriental, Cooperative Bank of Negros Oriental, Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizcaya, Cooperative Bank of Quezon, FICO Bank, Ilocos Sur Cooperative Bank, Negros Cooperative Bank, Network Consolidated Cooperative Bank, Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank also attended. Partner Cooperatives: KALASAG, TSKI, OCCCI, King Coop, BAPTC, Seeds and Fruits Cooperative, NEAPWD, MRMCI and CARD Bank also joined the celebration.

Other Government Agencies present were Agricultural Training Institute (ATI), Department of Foreign Affairs (DoF), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), National Tobacco Administration (NTA), Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), and Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).