ILAGAN CITY, Isabela—The Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC) in partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) recently launched the Swine Repopulation, Rehabilitation and Recovery (Swine R-3) program in the province of Isabela.
“Thank you so much Governor Rodito Albano for opening Isabela as the pilot province under the Swine Repopulation, Rehabilitation and Recovery and I believe that with your support this undertaking will be a successful one,” Agriculture Secretary William Dar said.
Dar said that under the program, DBP shall serve as the sole Partner Lending Conduct (PLC) of the DA-ACPC with an initial fund allocation of P500 million.
“As the PLC, DBP will identity qualified borrowers, evaluate and approve loan applications, release loan proceeds and collect loan repayments,” he said.
The DBP will finance bio-secured grow-out projects of small business enterprises, including start-up commercial hog raisers, with loanable amount of P5 million up to P15 million with zero interest, payable up to eight years with a grace period of up to two years.
Dar also cited that the first trials with an African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccine are being conducted in 10 commercial swine companies in the country.
“While the country is elevating everything towards bio-security, the most important intervention to enhance recovery of the hog industry is the vaccination against ASF,” he said.
“The cases of ASF in the country are now declining. To date, there are only 19 barangays with active cases and 70% decrease in reported cases in the whole country,” the secretary added.
Dar is optimistic the hog industry can bounce back due to the whole-of-nation approach being employed by his department, brought about by the President’s recent declaration of a state of calamity in the entire country.
“We have enough money to rehabilitate the hog industry through DBP, ACPC and Land Bank loans for the public and private sectors to avail,” Dar said.
“In tandem with the Department of Agriculture, we are now testing a vaccine against ASF, and hopefully good results will be seen in 70 days,” he added.
He assured that through the implementation of the Bantay ASF sa Barangay (BABayASF), Repopulation and Recovery Plan for the swine industry and other related programs, the swine industry can bounce back strongly.
Governor Albano III expressed gratitude to Secretary Dar for visiting Isabela as the province looks for clear solutions to present problems in agriculture.
“The hog raisers of Isabela are happy to welcome you Mr. Secretary and hopeful that along with the DBP we know that you have brought solutions to their bad experiences on African swine fever,” Albano said.
The DBP’s newest loan facility, the Swine R3 Credit Program, is a much needed boost towards repopulation, rehabilitation, and recovery of the local swine industry, to ensure the continuous supply and availability of swine and pork products and to stabilize pork prices in the country.
DBP President and CEO Emmanuel Herbosa said that with this new program, the bank offers the solution of a tangible funding support so the hog industry can increase its production level.
“Under the Swine R3 Credit Program, DBP will provide funding assistance to eligible public and private institutions to establish bio-secured swine farm products. With concerted efforts, we will be able to grow the local swine industry so that we can better meet consumer demand and we can achieve more stable pork prices in the Philippine market,” Herbosa said.
“DBP will support DA’s efforts of rehabilitating the hog industry. We will continue to work closely with the department and looking forward for more collaborations in the future,” he said.
Herbosa shared the good news that to complement the Swine R3 Credit Program, the DBP minted a new partnership with Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) Philippines, represented by Mr. Nattakorn Sujipittham.
“We are collaborating with CPF to ensure the viability of implementing bio-security measures to further assist eligible swine investor-partners,” he said.
“For the commercial hog raisers, our potential swine project investors and our hardworking Municipal Mayors, the Swine R3 Credit Program can assist both the public and private sectors. For the public sector, DBP can provide the financing for the establishment of consolidated swine facilities so that the LGUs can consolidate the backyard hog raisers in their municipalities and provinces,” Herbosa said.
“All our credit programs are geared towards the upliftment of the economic lives of our farmers and fishers, he added.
Herbosa then joined the audience to avail the bank’s credit programs and share the good news to everyone.
To be eligible for the Swine R-3 program, borrowers must be duly registered with any government-registering institutions, must have approved swine grow-out contract with DBP-accredited integrator, must have no adverse findings, and must exhibit profitable operations and sound financial condition.
Also present during the launching were city and municipal mayors of Isabela, Congressman Allan Ty, AVP Nattakorn Sujipittham of Careon Pokphand Foods, DA Undersecretary William Medrano, DA Assistant Secretary Noel Reyes, ACPC Executive Director Jocelyn Alma Badiola, Regional Executive Director Narciso A. Edillo, Regional Technical Director Roberto C. Busania and other officials and staff of national agencies, local government units and the private sector.