The Department of Agriculture (DA) has vowed to give free palay and corn seeds and fishing boats; and allotted a PHP50-million fund – through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) – as loan-aid to disaster-stricken farmers and fishermen in Pangasinan.
DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, during a dialogue with farmers’ and fishermen’s groups, as well as local government executives in the province on Thursday, directed the ACPC to also make the loaning process and requirements easy for the beneficiaries.
Piñol said the affected farmers and fishermen could avail of the DA’s Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) and Survival Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program.
“They (farmers and fishermen) can loan from PHP5,000 to PHP25,000 through SURE without collateral and without interest and payable in three years, while in PLEA, they could loan PHP25,000 to PHP50,000 without collateral with only 6 percent interest and 1 percent service fee,” he said, adding, however, that, “we need to validate to ensure that they are indeed farmers and fishermen”.
The DA will also give 32,000 bags of hybrid-certified palay seeds worth PHP81 million for the 32,000 hectares of disaster-affected farm lands in the province, as well as 100 bags of corn and 50 fishing boats, as initial aid to Pangasinan, Piñol said.
“Disaster is part of reality we need to accept, so I tell you from a quote, it does not matter how many times you fall what matters is how fast you rise up,” he noted.
Governor Amado Espino III, who was also present during the dialogue, thanked the DA and also vowed to give fertilizers to the farmers.
George Tandoc, a member of United New Lingayen Federation of Fisherfolks Organization, said they are grateful to DA and the provincial government for their support, which they give even without disasters. (PNA)