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Concerns raised: Deliberation on agri loan set next week

Ma. Fatima R. Secuya (The Freeman) - April 2, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Due to concerns on possible abuse, the deliberation of the proposed ordinance establishing an agricultural loan facility to farmers and fishermen in Cebu City was postponed.

Some City Council members asked as to how the ordinance could be effectively implemented so it will not be prone to abuse considering the zero-interest loan it offers.

The measure to be called the Agricultural Loan Facility Ordinance, proposed by Councilor Alvin Arcilla, aims to provide farmers and fisherfolk in Cebu City the needed capital and support.

"The real purpose of this ordinance is to eliminate the middle man. Because in the mountain, the middle man is the one who finances in planting their crops. And after harvest, they are also the ones who buy these but the price is very low," said Arcilla.

Under the ordinance, the source of the fund for the loan facility will be composed of the P10 million from the Cebu City each year and donations.

Arcilla said the department tasked to handle the loaning facility will see to it that the loaned money will be enough for what the farmer is planning to plant or what the fisherman is planning for a livelihood.   "We lend money for them and maybe the loan we grant for them may be paid for two years with zero interest," he said.

Arcilla said the loan could be availed individually by any farmers or fishermen that are members of accredited organizations in Cebu City.

"They can borrow individually but represented by a certain organization. In case they could not pay, the organization will be the one to pay," he said.

As of now, there are 58 farmer and fisherfolk associations accredited by the Cebu City Agricultural and Fisheries Council Councilor Eugenio Gabuya, Jr. said the council must be also knowledgeable on who these accredited farmers are so that the service will not be abused.

"Because we are appropriating some funds here and the council should also know who these farmers are that ought to be recommended by CCAFC kay aron it will not be prone to abuse ba," he said.

Arcilla said he will include the concern when they make the Implementing Rules and Regulations.

Presiding officer Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, though, decided to defer the deliberation of the proposed ordinance for a week and asked Councilor Sisinio Andales, who heads the council's accreditation committee, to coordinate with Arcilla to address the concern. (FREEMAN)

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