A year after its launching in June 2017, the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) credit facility boasts of a 98 percent repayment rate from marginal and small farmers and fisher borrowers in 16 regions covering forty-one (41) provinces.

Based on the data gathered by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Monitoring and Evaluation Staff, as of July 2018, ACPC was able to release a total of P1.33 billion loan funds to its 142 partner lending conduits. Of this amount, some P1.06 billion loans was released to about 32,024 small farmer and fisher-borrowers.

The PLEA is a credit facility designed to address the financial needs small farmers and fisherfolk by providing them easy to access loans. It offers non-collateralized loans for agri-fishery production through cooperatives, non-government organizations (NGOs)/associations, rural banks and cooperative banks as lending conduits in extending loans to MSFF.

The program was launched in the town of Malimono, Surigao del Norte on June 23, 2017. Malimono is considered as one of the country’s poorest fishing and agriculture area with a poverty incidence rate per family of 90 percent.  Thus far, about 353 Malimono small farmers and fishers were able to borrow from the Malimono Multi-Purpose Cooperative, ACPC’s partner lending conduit in the area. Based on ACPC’s Monitoring Report, the repayment rate of farmer and fisher-borrowers in Malimono is a record high of 100 percent. In addition, of the 41 provinces where PLEA is currently being implemented, 36 provinces registered 100 percent repayment rate.

Under the PLEA program, eligible borrowers are marginal and small farmers and fisherfolk registered under the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).  Eligible farmer/fisherfolk borrowers can avail themselves of up to P50,000 for short term crops/commodities and up to P150,000 for high value crops/long gestating crops. Only one member of the household can avail of a loan at a time. Household member can be either the head, spouse or adult working member.  The interest rate is 6 percent interest rate per annum or 0.5 percent per month.

The loan is payable based on cash flow and farmers and fisher-borrowers can re-avail loan after full payment of their existing loan.

From the initial unbanked and underbanked 15 provinces with high concentration of marginal farmers and fisherfolk, the coverage area of the PLEA program has been expanded nationwide. Thus far, regions 12, CAR, 6 have the most number of lending conduits at 24, 20 and 18, respectively. In terms of farmers and fisherfolk beneficiaries, Regions 12, 4 and 3 registered the highest number at 4,874; 4,116 and 4,023, respectively. (Table 1)

Table 1. PLEA Program Performance Summary as of July 31, 2018

Region/Province No. of Lending Conduits Loans Released to Lending Conduits Loans Granted to Marginal and Small Farmers and Fisherfolk (MSFF) No. of Marginal and Small Farmers and Fisherfolk (MSFF)
CAR 20 62,040,000.00 60,254,951.90 1,117
Region 1 3 111,984,000.00 40,148,300.00 1,543
Region 2 9 58,000,000.00 27,674,000.00 706
Region 3 15 158,690,000.00 156,824,999.99 4,023
Region 4 11 161,025,000.00 111,938,303.00 4,116
Region 5 4 80,000,000.00 74,790,500.00 1,759
Region 6 18 201,000,000.00 127,884,808.42 3,774
Region 7 7 58,000,000.00 40,860,000.00 1,873
Region 8 9 45,040,000.00 60,860,000.00 3,080
Region 9 4 27,409,000.00 31,926,200.00 628
Region 10 7 95,569,000.00 73,886,000.00 2,059
Region 11 1 4,557,000.00 4,557,000.00 104
Region 12 24 190,868,585.00 167,668,700.00 4,874
Region 13 9 74,500,000.00 74,424,704.76 2,137
ARMM 1 6,000,000.00 5,721,000.00 231
GRAND TOTAL 142 1,334,682,585.00 1,059,419,468.07 32,024

ACPC Program Management Officer for the Province of Albay Mr. Michael Jordan Roquid with Bangko Santiago De Libon, Inc. – Albay Branch Manager Ms. Liz Dycoco (standing 2nd and 3rd from left, respectively) facilitates the PLEA loan release for the first batch of eligible small farmers and fisherfolk borrowers in Albay on July 13, 2018

A woman-farmer receives her loan from the Lezo Multipurpose Cooperative, one of ACPC’s partner lending conduit in the Province of Aklan on July 17, 2018

ACPC Program Management Officer for the Province of Oriental Mindoro, Mr. Jemrick Ramos (4th from left) facilitates the PLEA loan release to Mina De Oro Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MAREMBECO), one of ACPC lending conduit for Oriental Mindoro on May 11, 2018. Also present are officers of the MAREMBECO Manuel Portugal (Chairman), George Arbes (Bookkeeper), Beth Rosal (Officer) and Grace Bolanos (Treasurer) (1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th from right, respectively)