Press Release No. 03
February 04, 2020

DA GRANTS SURE AID LOAN TO 4,000 NOCOT RICE FARMERS

Close to 4,000 rice farmers in the province of North Cotabato received their loan assistance from the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance Program for Rice Farmers (SURE Aid) Program on January 28.

The DA worked together with the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in the giving of cash cards at Midsayap municipal gymnasium.

Milagros Casis, DA XII regional executive director, was present in the distribution and personally awarded the cash cards to some rice farmer-borrowers.

A big number of farmer-borrowers who claimed their cash cards were from Midsayap with 969 farmers followed by Pigcawayan with 690 farmers; Alamada (455 farmers); M’lang (432 farmers); Banisilan (377 farmers); Carmen (330 farmers); Aleosan (299 farmers) and Libungan (150 farmers).

Some of the farmer-borrowers came from the municipalities of Pikit, Makilala, Kabacan and Antipas.

“We were able to release cash cards to 3,873 rice farmer-borrowers,” Director Casis reported adding that this number forms part the 20,103 allocation for Region XII.

She also said that the LBP is set to go to each of the municipalities in the province for a series of distribution for the month of February.

Musa Pagilidan, a rice farmer-borrower from Barangay Upper Labas, Midsayap has expressed his gratitude to God for guiding the DA in creating this program. “Salamat sa Diyos na mayroong binigay na blessing sa amin mula sa gobyerno. Ang blessing na ito ay gagamitin namin sa pagbili ng binhi, abono, pestisidyo at iba pang mga kakailanganin namin sa susunod na cropping season,” he said.

Rice farmer Rolando Getueban of Barangay Barangiran, Alamada also acknowledged the big help of the program to them saying “Malaki ang tulong sa mga magsasaka nitong SURE Aid Program. Gagamitin namin ito sa pagbili ng abono at mga kemikal para sa aming palayan. He also added that aside from loans, the DA has also given them production inputs such as palay seeds.

Another rice farmer Josephine M. Morong of Barangay Dugong, M’lang thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for valuing them as the country’s key food producers. She said “Isang malaking tulong para sa aming mga magsasaka ang SURE Aid Program ng DA dahil naapektuhan talaga kami ng mababang presyo ng palay. Malaking tulong itong SURE Aid sa aming financing sa pagsasaka. Nagpapasalamat kami kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte at sa DA dahil sa magandang programang ito.”

The distribution of loan assistance from the SURE Aid Program in the region started early in November 2019 which is spearheaded by the DA, LandBank and ACPC in partnership with the local government units.

SURE Aid Program aims to assist rice farmers whose incomes were affected by the drop in the farm gate price of palay. It provides a one-time loan assistance of PhP15,000 to rice farmers who are farming not more than one hectare. It is payable in 8 years at 0% interest rate. (Lito Mariano Salvo)