In photo [L-R] Atty. Jason Esguerra of SRA; Atty. Roland B. Beltran, Board Member-SRA; Constancio B. Galinato, EVP, Davao Sugar Central Company; Jose Enedicto G. Faune, AVP LANDBANK Davao Lending; Joseph H. Orilla, DAR-XI Regional Director; Elmerito N. Gerigdig, PARPO II-DAR Davao del Sur; Josephine L. Barsalote, PARBUFMPC Chair.
As uncertainty remains rife with talks of the liberalization of the sugar trade, a 124-member farmers’ cooperative finds reprieve after availing themselves of a socialized credit program.
The Pasig Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PARBUFMPC) has earned the distinction of being the first beneficiary of the Republic Act 10659 or the Sugarcane Industry Development Act of 2015.
PARBUFMPC signed last December a P3.64-million loan agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) in Davao City.
The regional director of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in the Davao Region, Joseph H. Orilla, said the law seeks to promote healthy competition in the sugarcane industry, maximize the utilization of resources, and improve the income of farmers and workers through enhanced productivity, product diversification, job generation and increased efficiency of sugar mills.
Orilla said he expects the agrarian reform beneficiaries, who are mostly sugarcane workers and farmers, to be encouraged to work harder as they need not go to loan sharks for farm inputs at a high interest rate.
PARBUFMPC chairperson Josephine L. Barsalote thanked the DAR-XI for its continued support. She said the agency helped the group avail themselves of the much-needed financial capital for their farming activities at a very minimal interest rate of two percent per annum.
Barsalote added the loan extended to them came at the right moment. It allowed them to purchase farm inputs, amidst rising cost of commodities.
Jose Enedicto G. Faune, assistant vice president of LBP’s Davao Lending Center, noted DAR-XI “for being a dependable partner” in helping sugarcane farmers.
Faune cited Orilla in particular for making LBP’s job of extending financial assistance to farmers a lot easier by helping the bank identify credit-worthy farmers’ organizations.
The former also challenged PARBUFMPC to do its part and be a role model by promptly paying the loan so that more sugarcane farmers will benefit from the said socialized credit assistance program.
The DAR has previously extended assistance to PARBUFMPC in securing agricultural extension services, which includes the establishment of high-value nursery farms and the provision of common service facilities such as a 120-horsepower tractor, a shredder machine, and a 10-wheeler dump truck.
(DAR XI Regional Information Office with report from Divino C. Dalanon, OIC-CARPO, RPBDD-XI)