DAMAGE. A rice field owned by an indigenous peoples (IP) farmer is among those damaged by Typhoon Odette in Antique on Dec. 16, 2021. Sonie Guanco, in-charge of the Agricultural Program Coordinating Office (APCO) of the Department of Agriculture Western Visayas in Antique, said in an interview Monday (Jan. 24, 2022) the SURE Aid loan program is up for 233 farmers in the province who had been affected by “Odette”. (Photo courtesy of NCIP Antique)

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique  –  The Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted 233 slots for farmers in Antique who were affected by Typhoon Odette under the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid Program.
DA Antique Agricultural Program Coordinating Office (APCO) in-charge Sonie Guanco said that under DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC) SURE Aid loan, eligible farmers may borrow with zero interest. 
“Each farmer applicant may avail of a maximum amount of PHP10,000 loan payable within three years,” he said in an interview Monday. 
Guanco said the Municipal Agriculture Office (MAO) of the municipalities in the province is now on the process of identifying the farmer-beneficiaries whose crops, livestock, and fishing boats had been totally damaged by the typhoon on December 16 so that they would have some amount to be used in their replanting, or in their recovery.   
The farmers will come from the province’s eight municipalities that were hardest hit by the typhoon, namely San Remigio, Belison, Patnongon, San Jose de Buenavista, Sibalom, Anini-y, Tobias Fornier, and Hamtic.
“Farmers who could avail also of the loan are those who had been registered with the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) and those with less than three hectares consolidated production area,” he said.
Guanco said the SURE Aid loan to farmers is being downloaded and released through the lending conduits of the ACPC, which is the credit arm of DA.
“In Antique, the lending conduits are the Hamtic Multi-Purpose Cooperative in the municipality of Hamtic and the Producers Bank in Sibalom,” he said
Guanco said these lending conduits are allowed to charge service fees from the farmers for processing of the loan. (PNA)