Four partner financial institutions of the ACPC based in Leyte and Samar are the latest to receive funds for the implementation of the Rehabilitation Support Program for Typhoon Yolanda-Affected Small Farmers and Fisherfolk.

The Metro Ormoc Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Southern Leyte Cooperative Bank, Rural Bank of Dulag, and the Fatima Multi-Purpose Cooperative received P10 million each, or a total of P40 million, from the ACPC in a check turnover ceremony held on April 23, 2014 in Palo, Leyte and led by Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary and ACPC Chair Proceso J. Alcala.

Sec. Alcala was assisted during the event by ACPC Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Director Cristina Lopez. Also present during the event were DA-Region 8 Exec. Director Bernadette San Juan, Leyte Governor Leopoldo D.L. Petilla, Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Asis G. Perez, and Mr. Celedonio Pereyra of the ACPC Program Development and Management Office.

The checks for the program funds were received by Metro Ormoc Community MPC Deputy for Operation Mizpah Taala, Southern Leyte Cooperative Bank Manager Ma. Caryl I. Carbonilla, Rural Bank of Dulag Chief Executive Officer Elvira Yu, and Fatima MPC General Manager Maria Teresa A. Geniston.

The ACPC’s “Rehabilitation Support Program for Typhoon Yolanda-Affected Small Farmers and Fisherfolk” was approved by the ACPC Governing Council through ACPC Resolution No. 2 Series of 2013. An amount of P131 million was allocated for the implementation the program.

The program entails the extension of interest-free loans to existing farmer and fisherfolk loan clients of financing institutions (FIs) currently accredited or partners/conduits under DA and ACPC programs (e.g. the Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool, Agri-Microfinance Program, Cooperative Banks Agri-Lending Program) to finance their agricultural production activities or other income-generating projects to help them recover from the devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda.

Funds availed by partner FIs from the program shall bear zero interest and shall not bear any credit risk on the part of the partner FIs.

FIs that may be eligible as program partners are cooperative banks, rural banks, cooperatives, MFIs and other organizations that are currently already accredited as partners/conduits under DA and ACPC programs.

Individuals eligible for the assistance being offered under the program are small famers and fisherfolk and/or their household members who are borrowers under the existing programs of the DA and ACPC and whose farms and/or livelihood were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda.

The rehabilitation support program aims to provide agricultural production loans or agricultural microfinance loans for the rehabilitation of agri/fishery and/or livelihood projects. Production loans may finance projects/activities related to the production of crops, livestock, poultry, high-value crops and fishery products; while agricultural microfinance may finance farm, off-farm/non-farm activities of farmers and fishers and/or their households using the cashflow lending approach.

Under the program, the amount of loan per borrower shall not be more than fifty percent (50%) of the borrower’s previous approved loan with the FIs. Loans shall have a maturity period of not more than three years as determined by the FI depending on the gestation of the project financed.

The damage inflicted by Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) on the farming and fisheries sector in 2013 is estimated to have reached a total of P32 billion. Production losses total P27 billion, while damage to facilities and infrastructure reached P5 billion.

Of the damage to crops, livestock and fisheries, coconut farms accounted for more than half or close to P18 billion. Losses reached P3.23 billion for rice farms, P2.25 billion for livestock, and P1.5 billion each for bananas and fisheries.

Data gathered by the DA shows that, in the aftermath of the typhoon, around 100,000 farmers need to be provided with seeds and fertilizer, while close to 150,000 fisherfolk need to be provided with fishing boats and gear.

As of April 15, 2014, the “Rehabilitation Support Program for Typhoon Yolanda-Affected Small Farmers and Fisherfolk” had already released a total of P41 million to 2 banks and 3 cooperatives. Out of this amount, P19.8 million in loans were already granted to 742 farmer and fisherfolk borrowers. Other partner FIs under the program so far are the Leon Small Coconut Farmers MPC in the province of Iloilo, the Integrated Brgys. of Numancia MPC in Aklan, and the Capiz Settlers Cooperative Rural Bank in Capiz.