E-SURE Aid Program Rolls-Out in Isabela

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          An initial of 4,798rice farmers who were previously validated and qualified beneficiaries received cash cards of P15,000 each as the Department of Agriculture – Agricultural and Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) in partnership with Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) officially launched the Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance (E-SURE Aid) Program in the province of Isabela held at Josefina T. Albano Sports and Cultural Complex in Cabagan, Isabela on October 29, 2019.

         Mr. Julio Climaco Jr., LBP Executive Vice President said that E-SURE program organized by DA-ACPC and LBP aims to provide loan opportunities for immediate relief to rice farmers affected by the impact of low palay prices as a result of the Rice Tariffication Law. He said that E-SURE program was first launched in Nueva Ecija on September 2, 2019, followed by Tarlac and now rolled out in the province of Isabela.

         The program, Climaco said, provides rice farmers who are tilling one hectare of land and below with zero interest, no collateral loan amounting to P15,000 payable in eight (8) years with minimal requirements through a simplified application process. He also said that DA and LBP have increased its credit under the E-SURE aid by P1 billion, augmenting the initial P1.5 billion, making it a total of P2.5 billion financial aid meant for rice farmers nationwide. “Patuloy ang Land Bank at Department of Agriculture sa paghahanap ng paraan upang maipaabot ang mga tulong kagaya ng mga pautang na maaari ninyong pagkunan ng puhunan at sama-samang isusulong ang kapakanan ng mga magsasaka,” he assured to rice farmers.

          In his keynote speech, DA Assistant Secretary designate for Operations Dr. Andrew Villacorta urged rice farmers who are tilling one hectare and below to join a cooperative or association of farmers. “Hindi tayo makakalaban kung tayo ay nag-iisa. Kailangang sumali tayo sa isang kooperatiba, sapagkat kung kayo ay isang kooperatiba, mabibigyan kayo ng mga makinarya kagaya ng tractor at harvester para kayo magiging competitive,” he said.

          Congressman Antonio “Tonypet” Albano of Isabela first district and Congresswoman Alyssa Sheena Tan of the fourth district both assured the Isabela rice farmers of their support and pledged that they support legislative measures for possible additional funding that will benefit small scale rice farmers to cope up with the effects of the rice tariffication law.

          Meanwhile, rice farmers expressed their gratitude to the DA, LBP and the provincial government of Isabela for helping them through financial assistance programs like the E-SURE Aid.

       Gov. Rodito Albano III lauded the Department of Agriculture and Land Bank of the Philippines for the E-SURE Aid program that will benefit 8,500 small rice farmers in the province of Isabela.