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The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) has allocated a P500 million credit fund for the implementation of its Survival and Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program in areas declared under a state of calamity by President Rodrigo Duterte due to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Odette.

The regions under the state of calamity are MIMAROPA (Region 4-B), Western Visayas (Region 6), Central Visayas (Region 7), Eastern Visayas (Region 8), Northern Mindanao (Region 10), and CARAGA (Region 13).

Under the SURE Program, small farmers and fisherfolk may borrow up to P25,000 with no interest, no collateral and payable up to three years. Only one borrower is allowed per household.

The loan may be used to provide immediate relief from the effects of the calamity and for rehabilitating the farming or fishing activities of the affected small farm/fishing household including the purchase of production inputs, repair of farm/fishery assets, and acquisition of livestock/work animals.

The DA Regional Field Offices, in coordination with the Municipal Agriculture Offices, shall be responsible for the identification and endorsement of eligible small farmers- and fisherfolk-borrowers who must be enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA), which is an electronic compilation of basic information on farmers, farm laborers, and fishermen.

Affected small farmers and fisherfolk who are interested to apply may coordinate with their respective Municipal Agriculture Offices.

The DA-ACPC will tap its partner lending conduits (PLCs), including government banks, rural and cooperative banks, and cooperatives, in extending  the loans to affected farmers and fisherfolk.

Further, as part of the calamity assistance package under the SURE Program, borrowers with outstanding loan obligation under any of the ACPC credit programs may also avail themselves of a one-year moratorium on payment of their loans to allow the affected farmers and fisherfolk-borrowers to restore their cash flow and debt payment capacity. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the estimated cost of damage to agriculture of the super typhoon has now reached more than P323 million.