LOAN ASSISTANCE. Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) North Cotabato and Land Bank personnel in North Cotabato provide financial literacy seminars to ARB before the release on Tuesday (August 2, 2022) of their loan to fund income-generating projects.  The provincial DAR office says a total of PHP44 million was released to 97 ARBs to fund their banana, rice, corn, mango and pomelo production. (Photo courtesy of DAR-12)

COTABATO CITY – Ninety-seven agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in North Cotabato received credit assistance loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) through the Accessible Funds for Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (AFFORD-ARBs) program.
Charish Paña, provincial agrarian reform program officer, said Tuesday the ARBs availed of the PHP44 million to fund their banana, rice, corn, mango and pomelo production.

“The funds will be released in tranches,”  Paña said. “We are very happy that more ARBs have availed the AFFORD-ARBs program that offers a lower interest rate at five percent per annum.”

The AFFORD-ARBs program is an enhanced lending program offered to individual ARBs to fund the production of high-value crops and for the acquisition of small farm equipment.

Paña assured DAR will continue to provide the ARBs with support services such as technical assistance on their chosen commodities, coaching and mentoring, and other capacity development interventions.

“We are hopeful that the ARBs will enhance their production and increase their yield and income with the availability of funds for the timely procurement of their agricultural inputs and other logistics,” she said.

Meanwhile, Roland Daquio, the provincial AFFORD-ARBs program point person, said the ARBs were also provided with financial literacy seminars before the release of their loans.

“DAR is making sure that these borrowers are equipped with basic financial knowledge that allows them to optimize their loans to improve their income, generate savings, and boost their productivity,” Daquio said.

Of the 97 ARBs, the town of Arakan has 39;  President Roxas, 17; Carmen and Alamada, 12; Magpet, 10;  Pikit, three; and one each from Makilala, Matalam, Kabacan and Pigcawayan. (PNA)