Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) awarded  the first-ever Gawad sa Paglingap sa Magsasaka at Mangingisda Awards (Gawad Lingap Awards) to outstanding Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) partner lending conduits and exemplary small farmer and fisherfolk borrowers last April 26, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Quezon City.

In her welcoming remarks, ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola credited the success of the PLEA program to the unwavering support, commitment and cooperation of its partner lending conduits and borrowers, and the DA family – the directors and staff of the regional field offices, bureaus and attached agencies.

Exec. Dir. Badiola said that since its launch in Malimono, Surigao del Norte in June 2018, the PLEA has already disbursed about P1.7 billion to 168 lending conduits across the country benefitting 38,000 small farmers and fisherfolk in 291 municipalities in 16 regions nationwide. 

She stated that the Gawad Lingap is an opportunity for the ACPC to recognize its partner lending conduits which have shown outstanding performance in the implementation of the program in terms of outreach, collection, utilization and repayment rate, and at the same time honor exemplary borrowers who were able to impressively utilize and pay their loans.

In relation to the event’s theme, “Sharing the Vision, Fulfilling the Mission,” Exec. Dir. Badiola  said that the PLEA is a product of DA Sec. Piñol’s vision of implementing “a program that will provide affordable and accessible credit to our farmers and fisherfolk even in the far-flung municipalities of the country.” Exec. Dir. Badiola added that this was made possible through Sec. Piñol’s strategic leadership and guidance.

In his keynote address, Sec. Piñol said that the PLEA is not his “brainchild” but his “heartchild” because the PLEA is very dear to his heart, as he believes access to affordable and timely credit gives farmers and fishers a chance to fulfill their dreams.

Sec. Piñol said that the success of PLEA is very evident by the farmer and fisherfolk awardees themselves and how it has improved their production and livelihood.  Sec. Piñol introduced Ms. Wendy Curioso, a farmer from the Dumagat tribe of Dingalan, Aurora, who was able to borrow P50,000 under the PLEA for her ginger, banana, and root crop production.

DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol (center) introducing Gawad Lingap farmer awardee Ms. Wendy Curioso (fourth from left) and Gawad Lingap for Outstanding Lending Conduit awardee New Rural Bank of San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija (third from left and first from right). (L-R) DA RFO 3 Regional Executive Director Crispulo Bautista, ACPC Deputy Executive Director Ramon Yedra, DA Usec. Evelyn Laviña, ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma R. Badiola.

Sec.  Piñol also recognized awardees from the B’laan tribe from the Municipality of Malungon, Sarangani, the dominant Indigenous Peoples (IP) Group in the province, who were able to avail themselves of loans from PLEA for their corn production: Mr. Alejandro Cawag, who acquired two horses, a buffalo, and a motorcycle, and Ms. Hilda Montong, who was also able to buy a horse and a buffalo, through their improved production and income as a result of their loans under the PLEA.

DA Sec. Piñol (center), presenting the Gawad Lingap to Exemplary Borrower awardees Mr. Alejandro Cawag and Ms. Hilda Montong (second and third from right), B’laan natives from Sarangani Province, and Outstanding Lending Conduit SAVESEGROW (fourth from left), along with (L-R) ACPC Deputy Exec. Dir. Yedra, Asec. Andrew Villacorta, DA RFO 12 RED Milagros Casis, Usec. Laviña, and ACPC Exec. Dir. Badiola.

The Gawad Lingap Awards were presented by DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, DA Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña, DA Assistant Secretary for Operations Andrew Villacorta, ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola, and ACPC Deputy Executive Director Ramon Yedra to 25 Outstanding Lending Conduits and 27 Exemplary Farmer and Fisherfolk Borrowers. DA Regional Executive Directors accompanied the awardees from their respective regions. Among those given the Gawad Lingap Award were the following:

  • CAR
    • Lengaoan Indigenous Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Modesto S. Teliagen
    • Tabano Omang Livelihood Project Organization, with farmer Nora E. Daus
  • Region 1
    • Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives, with farmer Everlito B. Coloma
  • Region 2
    • Mallig FST Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Ernesto V. Pastor
    • Cordon Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Fernando Wagtang
  • Region 3
    • New Rural Bank of San Leonardo (NE), Inc., with farmer Wendy Curioso
    • Parcutela Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Lorna Reyes
  • Region 4A
    • Yakap at Halik Multi-Purpose Cooperative Quezon 1, with farmer Nestor Basit
    • Rhudarda Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with fisher Pablo Araojo
  • Region 4B
    • Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank, with farmer Diosdado C. Sagun
    • Saklaw Foundation, Inc. (SFI) , with farmer Heinrich F. Falconitin
  • Region 5
    • Banco Santiago De Libon, Inc.
  • Region 6
    • Integrated Barangays of Numancia Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Fabian M. Tugna
    • Dingle Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Gemma P. Cabayao
  • Region 7
    • Cebu People’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Catalina C. Villame
  • Region 8
    • Metro Ormoc Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with hog raiser Letecia Borata
    • Agricultural Workers and Entrepreneurs Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Jose B. Doria
  • Region 9
    • Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with hog raiser Julia M. Grejaldo
  • Region 10
    • Philippine International Travel Assistance Center Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Jonathan R. Gregorio
  • Region 12
    • Partner Rural Bank of Cotabato, with farmer David T. Dela Vega
    • Sarangani Vegetables Seed Growers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SAVESEGROW), with farmers Alejandro Cawag and Hilda Montong
  • Region 13
    • Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, with farmer Analiza Lira
    • Boan Barangay Irrigation Development Association, Inc. , with farmer Emiliano M. Najial
    • Malimono Multipurpose Cooperative, with fisher Adrian Bueno
  • Region 10, 11, and ARMM
    • Mindanao Consolidated Cooperative Bank, with farmers Livelyn G. Dubongco, Albert P. Alviola, and Perpetua Magdadaro

The event was attended by more than 500 participants from the Department of Agriculture Central and Regional Field Offices and its bureaus and attached agencies, ACPC partner lending conduits, farmer and fisherfolk borrower-awardees, and members of the press, among others.

DA Sec. Piñol launches first Filipino farmer-owned motorcycle tire brand

DA Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol (third from right) leads the Ribbon Cutting during the Launching of Pilipinas Agila Tires, with Philippine Rubber Farmers Cooperative President Armando Pedregosa (second row, center), (first row, R-L) Mr. Willy Lim, CEO of Leo Tires Manufacturing Corp., DA Usec. Evelyn G. Laviña, DTI Asec. Blesila Lantayona, ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Badiola, and DA Asec. Andrew Villacorta

Coinciding with the granting of Gawad Lingap Awards to outstanding PLEA partner lending conduits, farmer and fisher borrowers was the launching of the Pilipinas Agila Tires, the first Filipino farmer-owned motorcycle tire brand in the country.

Secretary Piñol attributed the Pilipinas Agila Tires as the first attempt of the DA to elevate Filipino farmers from being only producers of primary materials to being equipped to process, manufacture, and merchandise products from their farm produce. Pilipinas Agila Tires is a product of the Philippine Rubber Farmers Cooperative (PRFC), which was organised by the DA two years ago as part of its program to elevate rubber farmers to the level of processors. The cooperative received a P10-million loan under the DA-ACPC PLEA and Working Capital Loan Easy Access (CLEA), through ACPC’s partner lending conduit, the Mua-an Farmers Producers Cooperative to start the tire manufacturing business which the PRFC will repay at 6% interest per year for a period of 8 years.

Products of the Pilipinas Agila Tires were showcased onstage during the event with DA Sec. Piñol, LBP President Cecilia Borromeo, DTI Asec. Lantayona, DA Usec. Laviña, ACPC Exec. Dir. Badiola, President Pedregosa and officers from the Philippine Rubber Farmers Cooperative (PRFC), Chairman Angel Cervantes and officers from Mua-an Farmers Producers Cooperative, and Mr. Willy Lim, CEO of Leo Tires Mfg. Corp.

The launching was facilitated by ACPC in partnership with the DA Agri-Business Marketing and Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), headed by Director Bernadette San Juan. The said tires were showcased in an exhibit of various agri-fishery products by DA-ACPC partner lending conduits. Aside from the Pilipinas Agila Tires, other products displayed included vegetables, processed food, nuts, organic food, rice, dairies, mushrooms, sardines, abaca, cacao, and cassava, among others.

Undersecretary for High Value Crops and Rural Credit Evelyn Laviña, in her Closing Remarks, underscored the event’s theme of “Sharing the Vision, Fulfilling the Mission,” as she encouraged all stakeholders to work together towards the common goal of helping and empowering farmers and fisherfolk to produce enough, accessible and affordable food for every Filipino.