VICE President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday criticized the Department of Agriculture for lending only P106.5 million out of the P1-billion Agriculture and Fishery Financing Program credit facility to farmers and fishermen in 2014.
“We urge the Department of Agriculture, through the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, to maximize the use of this fund to benefit thousands of farmers and fisherfolk who need sources of funding to procure needed materials and equipment to earn and provide for their familys’ daily needs,” Binay said.
“The AFFP is a P1-billion credit facility, and yet only P106.5 million has been released to farmers and fisherfolk borrowers in 2014.”
Binay made his statement even as Malacañang on Tuesday said he was “sour-graping” because he was not endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the statement in reaction to Binay’s earlier charge that Aquino was “flip-flopping” on the issue of reducing the income tax rates in the country and that there was no inclusive growth under his administration.
“What do you expect Vice President Binay to say? He’s sour-graping [because] he was not endorsed by the President,” said Lacierda.
He also said Binay was not even bothering to answer the allegations of corruption against him.
The AFFP is a flexible credit facility that aims to increase the productive capacity, competitiveness, and income-earning potential of small farming and fishing households registered in 20 priority provinces.
Binay says the fund will greatly help the agricultural sector, especially in achieving food security, if it is made available to borrowers.
In its 2014 audit findings, the Commission on Audit said its partners Land Bank of the Philippines and People’s Credit and Finance Corp . approved P421.64 million in loans but only P106.5 million or only 10.7 percent of the fund had been released to small farmers and fishermen borrowers.
Binay said the CoA report “is reflective of the program’s slow delivery that impacts on the timely attainment of its objectives.”
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