Loren to Farmers: Avail of the Benefits of the Agri-Agra LawAugust 13, 2010
SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA TODAY URGED FARMERS TO AVAIL OF THE BENEFITS OF THE AGRI-AGRA LAW.
Republic Act 10000 which Legarda as Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture authored and steered the passage of, requires banks to allocate 25 percent of their loanable funds to the agriculture sector to finance the acquisition of work animals, farm equipment or machinery, seeds, fertilizers, livestock, feeds and/or other similar items for farm production.
“The spirit of the law is to boost the agriculture sector and to promote livelihood among agrarian reform beneficiaries. ”
Legarda cited, “The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas had reported that the majority of banks in the country were unable to release the required amount of loans they should have extended to the farm sector in 2009.”
“The total loans set aside for the sector by the 672 banks in the country as of last year reached P569.5 billion, or only 22.8 percent of their loanable funds according to the BSP.”
“Apparently, this is way below the 25-percent minimum requirement of the Agri-Agra Law,” Legarda explained.
Legarda said the law further stipulates that 10 percent should be given to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and 15 percent to the agriculture sector.
“The new Agri-Agra law imposes stiffer penalties on banks that will fail to comply with the law. ”
“Productivity in the countryside can be expected with this new window of opportunity for our farmers. The Agri-Agra Law will secure a constant harvest and will abate our having to import rice, vegetables and other produce from other countries, ” Legarda concluded.