DAR, LBP provide financial assistance to Leyte farmers

DAR, LBP provide financial assistance to Leyte farmers

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) provides financial assistance to 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Maasin City, Southern Leyte. Photo: DAR

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in partnership with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), provides financial aid to 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province.

Mark Obregon, the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) coordinator of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Leyte, reported that a group of 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from Maasin recently availed themselves of credit assistance under the Accessible Fund for Delivery to ARBs (AFFORD-ARBs) program. These ARBs secured loans to finance their abaca and cacao businesses.

According to Obregon, the AFFORD-ARBs program has been in operation since 2021, and as of the Local Project Management Committee (LPMC) meeting held last week, the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) had already disbursed over ₱3.6 million to support the financial needs of these ARBs.

During the same occasion, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Roderick Rances urged the ARBs invited to the meeting to avail themselves of various credit assistance programs offered by DAR with low-interest rates.

"This loan assistance is a good opportunity for ARBs who are still struggling to recover from the losses they incurred when Typhoon Odette hit Southern Leyte in December 2021," Rances said.

Victoria Ligtas, Agri-Credit and Microfinance (ACMF) coordinator, presented the three available agri-credit assistance programs of DAR to the ARBs who were seeking funding sources to support their farm operations or livelihood activities: AFFORD-ARBs, Accessible Loan for Empowered, Resilient and Transform - Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ALERT-ARBOs), and Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprise (E-ARISE),

She emphasized that AFFORD-ARBs and E-ARISE can be obtained separately, while ALERT-ARBOs can be acquired through their respective ARBO members.

She also highlighted that for the AFFORD-ARBs loan, the bank no longer requires collateral. However, borrowers should not have other insurance applications with the Philippine Crop Insurance Company (PCIC) since their PCIC earnings will be used as collateral.

Donnie Saavedra, the insurance underwriter for PCIC, has stated that they perform physical assessments to ascertain the applicant's suitability for the relevant compensation.

DAR Regional Office ACMF coordinator Rosemarie Arreglo commended the ARB borrowers in the province for their good standing, with no reported delinquencies from the farmers who borrowed from the program. —iTacloban (Source: DAR)

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