^

Headlines

DA denies underutilization of funds

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), the farm credit policy body of the Department of Agriculture (DA), yesterday denied underutilizing the funds allocated under the Agriculture and Fishery Financing Program (AFFP) as alleged by Vice President Jejomar Binay. 

The AFFP, a P1-billion loan fund under the General Appropriations Act of 2013, was intended to be transferred to government financial institutions and cooperative banks for the establishment of a credit facility for small farmers and fishers listed under the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBA), which lists farmers with small landholdings or agrarian reform beneficiaries cultivating three hectares or less and small-scale fishermen.

Binay alleged that only P106.5 million of the fund was released to its intended borrowers last year, citing the 2014 findings of the Commission on Audit. The amount represents 10.7 percent of the total P421.64 million approved by the Land Bank of the Philippines and the People’s Credit and Finance Corp. earlier. 

ACPC executive director Jovita Corpuz said loan releases from the fund have been slow because the use of the RSBA as a basis for granting loans “is a new approach in beneficiary targeting” and is “still experiencing some birth pains.”

“The use of the RSBA is important as its main objective is to create a nationwide database of information on farmers and fisherfolk and their basic profile that can be used as a tool in carrying out the delivery of basic services and provision of adequate facilities relative to agriculture and fishing. This will help reduce leakages in the delivery of government program services to target beneficiaries and also help in assessing program effectiveness,” Corpuz pointed out.

She noted that the ACPC already transferred the entire fund to Land Bank (P550 million) and PCFC (P450 million).

Both state financing institutions, she added, encountered disbursement bottlenecks which were caused by “unforeseen operational constraints” such as non-registration of a number of farmers and fishers in the RSBA and problems in the verification of the identities of the beneficiaries.

To fine-tune the registry system, Corpuz said the ACPC is working with relevant government agencies to address the issues while the credit council works with the DA regional offices to promote the use of the fund and maximize its use.

As of September 2015, the amount of approved loans already reached P720.7 million.

ACIRC

AGRICULTURAL CREDIT POLICY COUNCIL

AGRICULTURE AND FISHERY FINANCING PROGRAM

AS OF SEPTEMBER

CORPUZ

CREDIT AND FINANCE CORP

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS ACT

JOVITA CORPUZ

LAND BANK

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE PEOPLE

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with