(for immediate release)
RUBEN D. TORRES 22 January 2016
President, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines
CP No. 0908.851.3320
LEONIE Q. MONTEMAYOR
President, Federation of Free Farmers
CP No. 0908.240.9772
TUCP, ALLIED GROUPS SEEK EARLY ENACTMENT OF CREDIT SURETY FUND BILL
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and allied farmers groups urged President Aquino to sign into law a bill that will enable micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) to access banks without collateral and thus expand business and job opportunities nationwide.
TUCP President Ruben Torres said that Senate Bill No. 2909 and House Bill No. 6007 will institutionalize the Credit Surely Fund Program started by the Bangko Sentral in 2008 and now operating in 49 provinces, by creating credit surety fund cooperatives and mandating the Cooperatives Development Authority and other agencies to extend training, financial and other support services.
Under the program, participating cooperatives place funds in a surety fund which is augmented with contributions from government banks, local government units and other interested investors. Using the surety fund as alternative collateral, cooperatives and other MSMEs can secure bank loans for up to ten times the value of their invested amount.
Former Agriculture Secretary Leonardo Q. Montemayor and current president of the Federation of Free Farmers-TUCP, said that the credit surety fund program will make feasible the plans of erstwhile small players like farmers cooperatives to link up with larger enterprises and take advantage of market openings within and outside the country.
Montemayor cited as an example the ALBACOPA Federation of Pangasinan Farmers Cooperatives, which is producing top-quality corn seeds under contract with Prassad Seeds, an Indian company that recently established a half-billion peso grain processing facility in Sta. Maria, Pangasinan. ALBACOPA Federation’s membership in the Pangasinan credit surety fund enabled it to borrow from the Development Bank of the Philippines and acquire farm tractors and crop loans for participating coop members in the project’s initial areas.
“The project partners envision the Philippines to become the leading corn seed supplier in Southeast Asia”, Montemayor said.
He added that, upon representations by the TUCP and the FFF, Board Chairman Dioscoro A. Granada of the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation has responded favorably to the ALBACOPA Federation’s request that corn seed production be placed under PCIC‘s insurance coverage.
Meanwhile, Ranilo M. Aquino, Manager of the ALBACOPA Federation, disclosed that he and officers of the Pangasinan credit surety program are negotiating with CP Thailand for the contract-growing of hogs for export. The Federation plans to secure a bank loan so that its member-coops can set up in selected locations modern pig-raising facilities that can accommodate 600 fatteners in each structure.
“Charoen Pokphand Group is the largest private company in Thailand and one of the biggest conglomerates in the world”, Aquino said.