President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel turn over cheque worth P50 Million to OMCB Board of Directors Chairperson Ramon Silverio

The Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) downloaded P77.5 million to four of its partner lending conduits (PLCs) in Occidental Mindoro for the implementation of the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program for El Nino-stricken farmers.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and DA Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr. led the loan fund turnover along with the distribution of various government assistance in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on April 23, 2024.

Among the PLCs tapped to extend loans to farmers and fishers under the SURE are the Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank (OMCB) with P50 million, the Mindoro Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPMPC) with P20 million, the Genaro ARB Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Genaro ARB MPC) with P4 million, and the Samahang Gumagawa Tungong Tagumpay Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Sagutt MPC) with P3.5 million.

The SURE Assistance Program provides up to P25,000 loan to calamity-affected small farmers and fishers from areas declared under a state of calamity. Said loan has no interest, no collateral, and is payable depending on the cash flow of the project but not to exceed three years. 

Last month, the DA-ACPC released P40 million each to two PLCs in Oriental Mindoro under the SURE for the areas affected by El Niño in the province.

“Asahan po ninyo na ang National Government, kasama ang ating mga legislators, Cabinet Secretaries, pinagka-kaisa nating lahat yan upang gawin lahat ng kailangan nating gawin, lahat ng kaya nating gawin, upang tumulong sa mga tinamaan nitong El Niño at iba-iba pang problema,” President Marcos said.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. during his speech at the Distribution of Various Government Assistance at San Jose, Occidental Mindoro on April 23, 2024

He also shared plans for a dam in Occidental Mindoro to help with power and irrigation, solar-powered water pumps to address drought in the farther areas of the province, and other government infrastructure projects to improve the lives of the locals.

DA Assistant Secretary and Spokesperson Arnel de Mesa reported that a total of P3.94 billion in agricultural damages was caused by El Niño nationwide. MIMAROPA (Region IV-B) is the hardest hit with damages reaching P1.7 billion.  Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan took most of the losses.

Onion, a high-demand high-value crop that is supposed to thrive during the dry season, is where most of the losses for the farmers of Occidental Mindoro are derived.

“High value crop ang sibuyas, lalo na ngayon, kaya malaki ang pinuhunan ng mga farmers. Kumpara sa nawala sa mga farmers dahil sa El Niño, kulang po talaga ang SURE, pero, at least kahit papaano, makakatulong rin na makapagsimula sila para sa parating na tag-ulan, magamit nila bilang panimula