Bohol farmers and fisherfolk may look forward to better access to financing and spur better growth of their agricultural and fisheries activities.
Gov. Edgar Chatto has secured an easy, low interest credit facility to enhance the productivity of the marginalized farmers and fisherfolk pursuant to his inclusive growth agenda for the Boholanos.
The governor thanked and lauded Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Emmanuel Piñol for the solid support to its people by providing key assistance to sectors directly linked to food security.
While attending the Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting in Cebu City on Friday, Chatto was called by Piñol to assure him of a new capital soft loan assistance to the farming and fishing folks.
Chatto earlier lauded Piñol, who was in Bohol on Wednesday, for the DA four-year plan of improving the farm-to-market roads in the country.
Called the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA), the credit program seeks to address the needs of the small agricultural and fishery workers and earners in terms of production inputs.
The objective is to increase productivity and raise income by providing “easy access to easy financing” to the marginalized farmers and fishermen, Chatto said.
A farmer is considered marginalized if he has only a farm area of three hectares or below and raises animal below 10 heads.
Credit funds will be channeled to a conduit financing or lending entity that has to be accredited by the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), which is attached to the DA.
The PLEA has no collateral, less papers, and low interest.
The conduit will provide the application form with the verified signature of the local agriculture officer.
According to Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, head of the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian, the financing facility is piloted only in some areas of the country and, for Bohol, only in the island-town of Pitogo.
“But Gov. Chatto requested Sec. Piñol to make its coverage province-wide so that as many will be assisted,” Lapiz said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Piñol, Chatto and the mayors met at the Bohol Tropics here where the agriculture secretary, along with Cabinet Sec. Leoncio Evasco, graced the one-day Incident Command System-Executive Course (ICS-EC)
The ICS-EC for the Bohol mayors was hosted by the provincial government as conducted by the Department of National Defense (DND) in partnership with the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), the latter under its chief Anthony Damalerio.
4-YEAR FMR PLAN
Also, the governor welcomed the assurance of the DA secretary of the four-year farm-to-market road (FMR) concreting plan, which will have a direct impact on the productivity of the farm sector.
“As we keep getting support funds from the national Conditional Matching Grant (CMG), formerly the KALSADA program, simultaneous FMR works will save the barangays which have no funds to maintain farm-to-market roads,” Chatto said.
The Chatto administration has continuously improved the roads to key production areas, so that even the new tourism roads have become an access, too, to production and investment growth areas.
During the ICS-EC, DA project assistance were released to the local government units (LGUs), through the mayors, by Piñol in the presence of Evasco and Chatto.
The mayors were led by the Bohol president of the League of Municipalties of the p[hilippines (LMP), Clarin Mayor Allen Ray Piezas.
Boholanos shall not be stunned having in due time “Made in Bohol” quality milk displayed and sold in supermarkets in the country and even abroad.
Again, Chatto welcomed this daring pronouncement from Piñol during the ICS-EC as the secretary also assured that the province’s DA-supported biggest dairy production program cannot fail.
“So, don’t be surprised if one day soon you will see Bohol milk displayed in the big supermarkets,” Piñol said, without hesitation.
Chatto said he is confident in the many projects to be undoubtedly fruitful, bringing Bohol to greater sustainable development and inclusive growth.
The aggressive program raising Bohol’s agro-economic status into the dairy industry capital of the Philippines will push through, Piñol reiterated.
He said, however, that due to the foot and mouth disease (FMD) affecting the Girolando cattle breed in Brazil, Bohol will import similar breed from Mexico.
The said dairy cattle breed has a good reputation of providing 80% of the milk production in the South American country.
Piñol mentioned his department’s other major plans and projects for the province.
He said the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is putting up additional necessary post-harvest or cold storage facility.
His agency, Piñol further said, will use the Rice Processing Center (RPC) in Pilar to procure and distribute locally-produced rice.
Meanwhile, Piñol said he will sail to Bohol the new Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Francisco Dagohoy on June 4, the commemoration of the birth of the Boholano hero after whom the ship was named.
The Dagohoy ship is one of the two—the other one being the BRP Lapulapu—new multi-mission offshore vessels and marine protection assets of the BFAR. (Ven rebo Arigo)