DA offers MM meat vendors’ groups zero-interest loans

QUEZON CITY — In support of the implementation of the price cap, as per Executive Order 124, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will extend zero-interest loans as operating capital to market vendors’ associations in Metro Manila public markets.

“This will enable them to buy pork carcasses directly from hog raisers and major agricultural commodities from farmers’ cooperatives and associations (FCAs), and sell these at reasonable prices to consumers in Metro Manila,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

“We are initiating this market vendors’ financing program to institutionalize mutual partnership between them and FCAs, and create a ‘win-win’ situation benefiting producers, retailers and consumers alike,” he said, adding that the DA is seeking their cooperation to ease up the tight hog supply situation and temper high pork prices in Metro Manila.

“Kami po ay nananawagan sa mga meat vendor. Ito po ang panahon na dapat tayo ay magtulong-tulong. Kami po’y magpaparating, galing iba’t ibang lugar, ng mga baboy na mas mura para itinda ninyo,” said Secretary Dar.

“Magpapautang din kami sa mga market vendor na miyembro ng asosasyon dito sa iba’t-ibang parte ng Metro Manila. Pautang na zero interest para mayroon kayong capital. Alam namin na kayo ay under the mercy of the wholesalers dito sa Metro Manila,” he added during the ‘Laging Handa’ public briefing, hosted by Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

Under the market vendors’ financing program to be administered by the DA’s Agricultural Credit and Policy Council (ACPC), market vendors’ associations or MVAs may avail of up to P5 million as working capital at zero-interest and payable in three to five years.

They may use it to buy farm and fishery products from FCAs. The DA Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (AMAS) will help the market vendors’ groups forge a marketing agreement with the FCAs.

The DA-ACPC, through its partner-lending conduits (PLCs) that have branches in Metro Manila, will provide the loans to organized groups of market vendors.

Director Jocelyn Badiola of the DA-ACPC said that the respective city and municipal local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila should identify, vet, and endorse the MVAs that can participate in the financing program.

In turn, the qualified MVAs will lend to their vendor-members in kind (the goods purchased) on credit. (DA)