Loans allocated to sugar farmers at the Land Bank of the Philippines, in line with the implementation of the Sugar Industry Development Act of 2015 that have yet to availed of, have risen from P300 million to P600 million, Sugar Regulatory Administration board member Emilio “Dino” Yulo III said.
Since the SIDA Act of 2015 was implemented two years ago, the socialized credit program of Land Bank has yet to be availed of by sugar farmers, Senator Cynthia Villar, who co-authored its passage in the Senate, said.
Yulo who accompanied Villar in her visit Sunday to Talisay City, Negros Occidental, said that they will announce in the next few days the mechanics of the socialized credit program, also tapping local government units in the information dissemination campaign.
Villar said Sunday that sugar farmers seem to be hesitant to secure loans from banks due to lack of financial literacy, and prefer the 5-6 lending scheme that is easier.
Yulo said the SRA will work with Land Bank on how to ease the process for securing loans by sugar farmers.
Entitled to avail of socialized credit program are sugar farmers with less than five hectares and below of land.
Under the farm plan, Yulo said individual sugar farmers may avail of P40,000 loan per hectare.
Of the 423,000 hectares planted with sugarcanes in the country, 80 percent of the farms are five hectares and below, SRA records show.
Yulo said there is a need to streamline the process of securing loans. Anyway, the main aim is to help sugar farmers with the financial needs, he added.
The implementation of SIDA requires a P2 billion annual fund for the sugar industry, 50 percent of which should be spent for infrastructure, 15 percent for block farms, 15 percent for socialized credit, 15 percent for research and development, and 5 percent for scholarships for children of sugar farmers.*GPB
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