Gov’t accredits 36 RFIs for Agri-Agra loans

Published February 7, 2022, 4:42 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) have accredited 36 rural financial institutions (RFI) that they deemed compliant with Agri-Agra rules.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier

As of end-January, the BSP has listed nine RFIs which was less one rural bank compared to same period last year of 10. The ACPC has maintained its original list of 27 accredited RFIs.

BSP Deputy Governor Chuchi G. Fonacier, in the circular letter issued on Jan. 28, reiterated that the BSP accreditation of the nine rural banks are not endorsements but that the public should view this list as one of the provisions of the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009.

“The accreditation does not serve as an endorsement of the BSP of the soundness of (the) listed financial institutions. The accreditation cannot be used for any purpose other than for implementing the provisions of the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 and its related rules and regulations,” said Fonacier.

Fonacier said the lending or investing bank is required to disclose in its Agri-Agra Report to the BSP of its exposure to the accredited RFI and if they intend to utilize its exposure for Agri-Agra compliance.

“Such exposure to the accredited RFI will be eligible for determining compliance with the Agri-Agra requirement for as long as the said RFI remains accredited,” she added.

The accreditation is valid “until sooner revoked for non-renewal or noncompliance with the qualification requirements prescribed under existing rules and regulations.”

Fonacier said that in the event of disaccreditation, “the lending/investing bank will be allowed to use its exposure to a disaccredited RFI for compliance with the agri-agra requirement only up to the next reporting quarter following the disaccreditation as a grace period.”

The Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 mandates banks to allot at least 10 percent of total loanable funds for agrarian reform beneficiaries and 15 percent for farmers and fisherfolk.

However majority of banks do not comply with the law that mandates them to lend 25 percent of its total loan portfolio to the agriculture sector.

The nine RFIs accredited by the BSP are: Producers Savings Bank Corp.; Common Wealth Rural Bank; Rural Bank of Angeles; New Rural Bank of San Leonardo; First Isabela Cooperative Bank; Cavite United Rural Bank Corp.; Rang-Ay Bank; Rural Bank of Bay; and Rural Bank of Kiamba (Sarangani).