NON-COLLATERALIZED LOAN. Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson turns over a check to a Typhoon Odette-affected recipient of the Department of Agriculture's Survival and Recovery Loan Assistance in Kabankalan City on Thursday (August 4, 2022). The PHP10,000 non-collateralized loan is extended to each qualified household at a zero-percent interest rate payable in three years. (Photo courtesy of PIO Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – Some 595 farmers in southern Negros Occidental affected by Typhoon Odette last December availed of a no-interest loan amounting to PHP10,000 each from the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson led the distribution of the checks during the turn-over rites at the Kabankalan City Demo Farm on Thursday afternoon.

“We thank the DA, they believe in the credibility of the people of Negros Occidental. I wrote them to request the province be included in the program and they approved it,” Lacson said.

Sarah Obordo, La Castellana – 1 Personnel Multi-Purpose Cooperative manager, the DA’s Agricultural Credit Policy Council partner-lending conduit, said 570 beneficiaries from Kabankalan City will receive the loan during the three-day payout until Friday.

Checks were also released to 25 recipients from Hinigaran town on Thursday.

The PHP10,000 non-collateralized loan is extended to each qualified household at a zero-percent interest rate payable in three years.

Called the Survival and Recovery (SURE) Loan, the aid aims to finance the emergency and production capital requirements of small farmers, fisherfolk, and animal raisers whose production income was affected by "Odette".

With the loan assistance, the beneficiaries, who were enrolled in the Registry System for Basic Sector in Agriculture, are expected to regain the capacity to continue their agricultural activities and contribute to sustained food production.

According to the DA-Western Visayas, the region incurred PHP6 billion worth of production losses, affecting 156,113 farmers and fisherfolk, during the onslaught of Typhoon Odette from December 16 to 17, 2021.

Among the worst-hit areas were central and southern Negros Occidental, Guimaras, southern Iloilo, and southern Antique. (PNA)