The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) turned over P31M worth of credit funds to six cooperatives which will serve as lending conduits for the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program to benefit farmers and fishers affected by Typhoon Niña in the provinces of Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

The check turn-over ceremonies was held on August 10, 2017 at Villa Caceres Hotel in Naga City. The ACPC is represented by its Monitoring and Evaluation Director Ma. Cristina G. Lopez, Program Development Officer Celedonio P. Pereyra, and Information Technology Officer Rumina A. Gil. The Department of Agriculture – Regional Field Office V (DA-RFO V) is represented by Regional Technical Director Rodel R. Tornilla, Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Division (AMAD) Chief Adelina A. Losa, and Agriculturist II Norbert Bryan S. Elgario during the turn-over ceremonies.

The six lending conduits tapped by the ACPC for the implementation of SURE in Camarines Sur and Catanduanes are: Camsur Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Pili, Camarines Sur; Magarao Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Barangay Casuray, Magarao, Camarines Sur; San Antonio Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Buhi, Camarines Sur; Sampaloc Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Gainza, Camarines Sur; Pinoy-Lingap Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Cavinta, Virac, Catanduanes and Maymatan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.

Mr.  Pereyra, presented the features of the SURE Assistance Program before the check turn-over ceremonies. The Managers/Chairs of the six lending conduits gave their messages regarding the program. Dir. Lopez gave a message on behalf of ACPC Exec. Dir. Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola. Also present during the check turn-over ceremonies were representatives of the municipalities of Camarines Sur and Catanduanes and officers of the six lending conduits.

The SURE Assistance Program is a post-disaster facility which provides loan assistance to calamity-affected small farmers and fisherfolk and their households through partner-financial institutions and/or lending conduits. Conceptualized by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny F. Pinol, the SURE Assistance Program caters to small farmers and fishers whose livelihoods had been affected by calamities. Interest-free loans of not more than P25,000 per borrower are provided to eligible borrowers to finance the requirements of rehabilitating their farming and/or fishing or livelihood activities  including production inputs, repair of farm/fishery assets and acquisition of livestock/work animals.

The areas covered under the program are those areas declared under a state of calamity by the concerned local government units and validated by the DA and/or by the local office of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to have sustained considerable damage to agriculture due to natural calamities. Typhoon Niña devastated three Bicol provinces and wrought heavy damage on the agriculture sector in December 2016. The number of farmers affected from the provinces of Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Albay totaled to 82,793. The value of production loss was estimated at P4.1 billion.