State-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has approved P209.3-million in credit assistance to two rice farmer cooperatives in Bohol Province as part of the bank’s continuing support to the National Government’s program to boost productivity and operational efficiency of growers of the essential food staple, a top official said.
DBP President and Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel G. Herbosa said the P200-million and P9.3-million granted to the Bohol Bayanihan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BBMPC) and the Bohol Community Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BCMPC), respectively, would be used primarily for working capital as well as processing, storage, and other logistical requirements.
“DBP’s support complements current initiatives of the local government of Bohol led by Governor Arthur Yap, such as its Advanced Rice Technology (ART) program, to further uplift the socio-economic condition of rice farmers in the province while boosting food security,” Herbosa said.
DBP is the fifth largest bank in the country in terms of assets and provides credit support to four strategic sectors of the economy – infrastructure and logistics; micro, small and medium enterprises; the environment; and social services and community development.
Under the agreement, proceeds of the P200-million DBP loan would be used by BBMPC for working capital for palay procurement, storing, drying, milling and packaging; acquisition of transport and equipment; repair of rice processing complex; and for relending to small rice farmers enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA).
DBP Executive Vice President for Development Lending Paul D. Lazaro explained the loan to BBMPC would enable the cooperative to handle at least 20% palay production buy-back mechanism, which was initially handled by the local government unit (LGU) of Bohol Province, while the loan to BCMPC would be used for the construction of a warehouse; transport acquisition and permanent working capital in the selling of milled rice.
Lazaro added that this partnership with BBMPC and BCMPC would enable LGU Bohol to focus on other components of its ART program including the adoption of new rice technologies to further increase productivity and to enhance the global competitiveness of Bohol rice farmers.
‘’DBP vows to continue to be an ally of the agriculture sector in providing the necessary financing to support programs that provide better and greater benefits to the farming community,” Lazaro said.
DBP’s financing assistance to DA-accredited farmers cooperatives forms an integral component of the National Government’s Expanded Rice Credit Assistance – Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund to provide fertilizer and irrigation support, among other interventions, to boost local farmers’ productivity and income.
Bohol Province’s ART program, on the other hand, aims to achieve the planting and harvesting of high-yielding rice varieties, both from hybrid and certified seeds, as well as the direct purchase of palay at a price higher than prevailing market prices to help boost rice farmers’ income.