MANILA, Mar 2 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Agriculture (DA) has a loan program exclusively for migrant workers repatriated because of the Covid-19 pandemic and who want to venture into the agribusiness.

Through its Agricultural Credit Policy Council’s (ACPC) Agri-Negosyo (ANYO) program, the DA has helped 108 former overseas Filipino workers since the start of the pandemic two years ago, Executive Director Jocelyn Badiola said in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

“We have lent over PHP40 million to repatriated OFWs through the ANYO Program,” she said. “Those who lost their jobs abroad due to the pandemic were granted loans to pursue agribusiness as a new means of income.”

Currently, they are processing 58 more applications.

She said the OFWs can arrange with the embassies in their host countries to inquire about the program if they are going home and want to start an agribusiness.

ANYO was rolled out in 2020 to provide zero-interest loans, including for small farmers and fishers and registered micro and small agri-fishery enterprises, including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, associations, and cooperatives.

Eligible borrowers are entitled to a maximum PHP300,000 while registered micro and small enterprises, depending on their assets, may borrow between PHP300,000 and PHP15 million.

Loans are payable to up to five years without collateral and interest, the DA-ACPC said.

ACPC was created in 1986 by virtue of Executive Order 113 to assist the DA in synchronizing all credit policies and programs in support of the latter’s priority programs.

It was also tasked to review and evaluate the economic soundness of all ongoing and proposed agricultural credit programs, whether for domestic or foreign funding, prior to approval; undertake measures to increase its funds base; and adopt other liquidity interest stabilization and risk cover mechanisms for its various financing programs. (MNS)

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