ACPC’s Rumina Gil discusses the application requirements for lending conduits to PCAF national and regional technical employees.

Officials of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) oriented selected employees of the Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF) on the Production Loan Easy Access (PLEA) program’s key features on March 7, 2018 at the Department of Agriculture (DA)-PCAF New Building in Quezon City.

The orientation is part of PCAF and ACPC’s partnership where the latter requested the help of PCAF and its Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) in validating and monitoring the PLEA program beneficiaries in different regions.

PLEA is one of the two flagship credit programs of ACPC that is designed for small and marginal farmers and fisherfolks to have an easy and convenient credit access. It has also a low interest rate of 6% per annum or 0.5% per month and will not be deducted to the borrowers in advance.

Aside from PCAF employees at the national level, the orientation was also attended by regional technical coordinators.

Executive Director Sarah Gutierrez-Cayona also stressed that the activity established the importance of the role of AFCs in evaluating DA- and PCAF-funded programs, policies and projects, and giving feedback on how these are implemented and affected the lives of the community they belong.

She also added that the orientation will equip the concerned PCAF employees, particularly the regional coordinators on how the credit program works because, together with the AFCs, they will play an important role.

ACPC also discussed the difference between PLEA and the Survival Recovery (SURE) Assistance Program. SURE is a quick-response, post-disaster support facility of ACPC. It grants and loans assistance for calamity-affected small farmers and fisherfolks and their households.

As of December 2017, PLEA program has benefitted 25,256 small farmers and fisherfolks, and released a total amount of PhP675 million. The program has also 84 lending conduits.

ACPC’s Rumina Gil also clarified that there will be a separate discussion on the detailed roles of PCAF and the AFCs in monitoring the beneficiaries of PLEA. As of this writing, the two agencies are still finalizing the schedule.– JC