An initial amount of P8 million was disbursed to 320 marginal and small farmers and fishers (MSFF) from Occidental Mindoro under the SURE COVID-19 Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC).
Each farmer- and fisher-borrower received a no-interest, no collateral loan worth P25,000 which they will pay in 10 years.
The beneficiaries, whose incomes were affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to COVID-19, are from the Municipalities of Magsaysay, San Jose, Rizal, Calintaan, Abra de Ilog and Sablayan.
The Occidental Mindoro Cooperative Bank (OMCB), which serves as the DA-ACPC’s lending conduit in the said province, targets to complete its loan release to 400 farmers and fishers totaling to P10 million by April 30, 2020.
Due to the restrictions brought about by the ECQ such as the no entry/exit, social distancing and no transportation policies, the OMCB had to conduct some validation of borrowers and loan releases through house-to-house visits aside from employing skeletal workforce.
“We were able to fast track the release of the much-needed financial assistance with the full support of the DA-RFO 4B and concerned LGUs,” said ACPC Focal Person for Occidental Mindoro Fritzie Dimzon. The SURE COVID-19, which aims to finance emergency and production capital requirements of MSFF during the pandemic, is a nationwide program that supports the DA’s Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19 (ALPAS SA COVID-19).