CITY OF MALOLOS- A total of 746 rice farmers from the 20 municipalities and cities in Bulacan received their Expanded Survival and Recovery Assistance (SURE Aid) Cash Card with P15,000 one-time loan assistance from the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) and Landbank of the Philippines during its distribution held at The Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in this city earlier today.
The P15,000 credit, which aims to help rice farmers who are farming one hectare and below and whose incomes were affected by the drop in the farm gate price of palay, is payable for eight years with zero percent interest and no collaterals.
Landbank’s President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo assured the Bulakenyo farmers that their bank, in coordination with the DA is always open to help them on their crop production, farm mechanization, food processing, agri-related projects and agri-businesses needs.
“Alam at ramdam po namin ang mga hamon na tinatanggap ng ating mga rice farmers, kasama na ang pagbaba ng presyo ng palay, kaya’t patuloy ang Landbank at ang DA sa paghahanap ng paraan upang maipaabot ang tulong na inyong kailangan. Kami din po ay narito dahil hangad namin na maging bahagi ng patuloy na pag-unlad ng lalawigan ng Bulacan,” Borromeo said.
For his part, Governor Daniel R. Fernando said that he believes that farming is the foundation of the nation and giving support to the farmers is a way to strengthen the society.
“We owe so much to our farmers. We are only as strong as the ones who are giving us strength and I can say for certain that our farmers are the source of our tenacity. Ang mga magsasaka po ay ang mga araw-araw na bayani, madalas hindi nabibigyan ng sapat na pansin subalit patuloy na nag-aalay ng sarili para sa mabungang kinabukasan,” the governor said.
He also revealed his plan of putting up the Bulacan Farmers Training Center which will assist Bulakenyo farmers in learning advance farming technologies and convinced them to teach their children of the importance of farming.
In response, Sixto Dionisio, a farmer from Dampol, Pulilan thanked the DA-ACPC, Landbank and the PGB for the aid given to the them.
“Malaking tulong ito sa bawat isa sa amin at magsisilbing panimula sa susunod na panahon ng pagtatanim, lalo ngayon na batid naman nating lahat na lubhang mababa ang bilihan ng palay. Ang halagang ipahihiram ninyo sa aming mga magsasaka ang siyang aalalay sa mga unang gastusin sa aming bukid,” Dionisio said.
The 746 farmer-beneficiaries are from the municipalities of Angat, Baliwag, Bustos, Bulakan, Calumpit, Guiguinto, Hagonoy, Norzagaray, Santa Maria, Pandi, Plaridel, Balagtas, Bocaue, Pulilan, San Ildefonso, San Miguel, San Rafael, Doña Remedios Trinidad, and the cities of Malolos and San Jose del Monte.