By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agriculture (DA) through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) has allocated P5 million for the Expanded Survival and Recovery (ESURE) loan program in Bauko, Mountain Province to help farmers recover from their losses due to market restrictions during the lockdown period.
About 53 marginalized small farmers (MSFs) composed the first batch of recipients last May 26.
The ESURE loan, which amounts to P25,000 each MSF is zero-interest, no collateral, and payable in 10 years.
The P5 million allotted for the ESURE program in the municipality will be released to 200 qualified farmer-recipients.
During the loan release, Mayor Abraham Akilit encouraged his constituents to use ESURE not only as a recovery measure but also as an opportunity to expand planting areas.
Farmer-leader Jerome Lumabas said they are grateful for the program despite challenges during the selection of loan recipients especially that beneficiaries of amelioration programs of the government, such as the Department of Labor and Employment, and Department of Social Welfare and Development, were automatically disqualified.
The DA said the undistributed amount for the municipality will be released in the following days through its partner lending institution.
Meanwhile, loan releases for other municipalities in the province will be simultaneously scheduled and will follow strict general community quarantine protocols.
The entire Mt. Province has been allotted a total of P30 million for the ESURE Program.