The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) launched the release of the Expanded Survival and Recovery (ESURE) Loan Program in Bauko, Mountain Province with 53 marginalized small farmers (MSFs) as the first batch of recipients on May 26.
The ESURE loan—which amounts to Php25, 000.00 each MSF—is zero-interest, no collateral, and payable in 10 years. It aims to aid farmers in recovering from their loss due to market restrictions during the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Accordingly, Php5 million is allotted for the ESURE program in the municipality to be released to 200 qualified farmer-recipients.
During the loan release, Mayor Abraham Akilit encouraged his constituents.
“Aramiden tako ay treasure nan SURE, usaren tako ay usto ay maka- recover isnan nalugi ken nakurap ay in mula tako ya lumaw-lawa pay kuma nan mulaan tako (Let us turn SURE into a treasure, not mainly recovering from our loss but to expand our planting areas),” he said.
Beverly T. Pekas, Agricultural Programs Coordination Officer for the province, and Agency representatives also gave words of encouragement and inspiration regarding the efficient utilization of the loan towards recovery.
Meanwhile, the guidelines and qualifications for the program and the invitation of being able to borrow more capital were given and shared by the ACPC representative Kristle Ann Balingan and Treasure Link Cooperative Society (TLCS) Manager Shellane K. Addag. TLCS served as the lending conduit for the ESURE program.
Farmer-leader Jerome Lumabas said that they are grateful for the Program despite challenges during the selection of loan recipients especially that beneficiaries of amelioration programs of the government such as DOLE and DSWD were automatically disqualified. Priority is given to those qualified farmers who are not yet able to receive any amelioration or ayuda from the government.
The undistributed amount for the municipality will be released in the following days by the Lending Conduit.
Meanwhile, loan releases for other municipalities in the province will be simultaneously scheduled following strictly the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) protocols. Mt. Province was allotted a total of Php30 million for the ESURE Program.