MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte – About 64 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from this province were able to avail of the credit assistance program offered by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) thru the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) since 2021.
This was disclosed by Mark Obregon, DAR Southern Leyte Provincial Office’s monitoring and evaluation (M & E) coordinator, during the Local Project Management Committee (LPMC) meeting held in this city last week.

Based on the report from LBP, more than P3.6 million had already been released by the bank to the said ARBs under DAR’s Accessible Fund for Delivery to ARBs (AFFORD-ARBs) credit assistance program.

Obregon added that the borrowers used the amount as capital for their abaca and cacao productions.

On the same occasion, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II) Roderick Rances encouraged the ARBs who were invited to the said meeting to avail of the different credit assistance programs offered by DAR which has minimal interest rates.

Rances said this is an opportunity for the ARBs who have not recovered yet from the devastation of Typhoon Odette which hit this province in December 2021.

Agri-Credit and Microfinance (ACMF) coordinator, Victoria Ligtas, presented to the ARBs, who are looking for fund sources to finance their farm operations or livelihood activities, the three available agri-credit assistance programs of DAR; the AFFORD-ARBs, the Expanded Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprise (E-ARISE), and the Accessible Loans for Empowered, Resilient and Transform – Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ALERT-ARBOs).

Ligtas stressed that AFFORD-ARBs and E-ARISE can be availed individually, while ALERT-ARBOs can be availed thru the ARBO they are affiliated with.

LBP’s account officer, Noreen Joy Golong, also stressed during the meeting that the bank no longer ask for collateral in availing the AFFORD-ARBs loan. However, the borrower must not have any other insurance application with the Philippine Crop Insurance Company (PCIC), because the proceeds they will get from PCIC will serve as their collateral.

Meanwhile, PCIC insurance underwriter, Donnie Saavedra, shared that they conduct actual inspection to determine if the applicant deserves appropriate indemnification.

Further, DAR Regional Office ACMF coordinator, Rosemarie Arreglo, praised the ARB-borrowers of this province for their good standing as no one is reported to be delinquent.

On the other hand, lawyer Melani Brilata still cautioned the would-be borrowers to be responsible in their obligations to the bank because it will affect other borrowers as well. (JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA/PR)