The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), through its Expanded SURE Aid and Recovery Project or SURE-COVID-19, released a total of P10.12 million loan funds to 405 marginalized small farmers and fishers (MSFFs) in Region X whose incomes were affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid pandemic.

The DA-ACPC has tapped five (5) partner lending conduits namely Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PMPC), Philippine International Travel Assistance Center Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PITAC MPC), Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank (MCCB), Bangko sa Balay Foundation, Inc. and Lorenzo Tan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LTMPC), covering 5 provinces in the region to implement the said program. The DA-ACPC has already transferred a total of P27.55 million loan funds to these partner lending conduits to be disbursed to 1,100 MSFFs in the region.

DA-ACPC Program Management Officers Mary Grace Tambus and Runy Crusio reported that out of the total loan funds disbursed, P5.12 million was distributed to 205 MSFFs from Misamis Occidental through the PMPC while the other P5.0 million was released to 200 MSFFs from Bukidnon through the PITAC MPC. Each beneficiary received a non-collateralized, interest-free loan worth P25,000 payable in 10 years.

Alberto Utlang, one of the farmer-beneficiaries from Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental expressed his appreciation for the assistance he received through the program. “Kung wala po itong SURE COVID-19 Program mula sa DA-ACPC, mas lalo po talaga akong mahihirapan na makabawi sa aking hanapbuhay. Malaking tulong po ito para sa katulad kong magsasaka,” he shared.

The SURE COVID-19 forms part of the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19 Program (ALPAS kontra COVID-19) of the DA to increase the country’s food adequacy level during the emergency situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.