Capitol signs P500-M loan to buy farmer’s palay

By October 3, 2021Business

GOV. Amado Espino III signed on Sept. 24 a P500-M loan agreement with Land Bank of the Philippines, the bulk of which will be used for the procurement of palay to help  marginalized farmers free themselves from the strangle-hold of rice traders.

Farmers have since complained to extremely low buying price that prompted the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to set a Question Hour to find out why farmers are again complaining about the atrociously low price of palay as the harvest season has just barely started.

Fifth District Board Member Nicoli Sison lamented that farmers were already complaining about the low price of palay (from P13 to P13.50 per kilo) that won’t enable them to recover their production costs.

With the signed loan agreement, farmers, especially those tilling less than two hectares of land, will no longer have to sell their palay to middlemen or to rice merchants because the  provincial government will be buying  their palay.

The loan agreement signed by Governor Espino with LBP-Pangasinan Lending Center Assistant Vice President Jaime Cruz, will allocate P400 million to procure palay from local farmers.

The remaining P100 million will be used to process farm machineries, and earlier encouraged the provincial government to procure palay from local farmers affected by rice tariffication like what many other local government units did to help their farmers.

According to Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Nestor Batalla, the provincial government will process the procured palay and sell these as rice to the 14 provincial government-owned provincial hospital, local government units,  and to provincial government employees at lower prices, and distribute the remaining to existing OFW Bigasan Centers to be sold to the general public. (Leonardo Micua)

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