PhilGuarantee covers P3.5-B agri loans in 1H of 2021

The Philippine Guarantee Corp. (PhilGuarantee) has provided guarantees to loans in the agriculture sector amounting to P3.5 billion in the first half of 2021, which is already 95 percent of the state firm’s target of P3.7 billon for this entire year.

According to PhilGuarantee president-CEO Alberto Pascual, the loans guaranteed through the firm’s partner-lending institutions (PLIs) have thus far benefited 35,360 small farmers and fisherfolk.

Pascual said in his report to Finance Secretary and PhilGuarantee chairman Carlos Dominguez III that the crops subsector accounted for the bulk of the guaranteed loans, with P3.35 billion or 96 percent covered over the January-June 2021 period.

“For second quarter 2021, guaranteed loans to the agriculture sector by 47 PLIs have already reached P3.499 billion, which is already 95 percent of the 2021 target of P3.675 billion, benefitting 35,360 small farmers and fisherfolk. The outstanding balance as of 30 June 2021 amounted to P1.247 billion,” Pascual said in his report.

As the administrator of the Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP), PhilGuarantee encourages its PLIs to lend to small farmers and fisherfolks or their organizations, by providing guarantee coverage to their unsecured agricultural production loans.

The livestock subsector came in second in terms of the amount of guaranteed loans as of June of this year, with borrowings amounting to P112.63 million, followed by fisheries with P27.86 million; and poultry with P12.03 million.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in March 2020, PhilGuarantee lost no time to enable its mandate and respond to the clarion call of the government to provide assistance to affected agri-based workers by way of its guarantee program,” Pascual said.

Pascual said that last year, PhilGuarantee’s approved guarantee lines to 41 PLIs extending loans to the agriculture sector amounted to P5.14 billion, with guaranteed loans totaling P4.25 billion.

“This amount is 21.4 percent beyond our goal of P3.5 billion and resulted into assisting 48,038 small farmers and fisherfolk nationwide. Outstanding balance as of 31 December 2020 amounted to P401.5 million,” Pascual said.

During the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) period last year, Pascual said the PhilGuarantee Governing Board approved the reduction of the rate of guarantee fee from 1 percent to 0.5 percent and the increase of the guarantee coverage from 85 percent to 90 percent of the loan amount for palay farmers borrowing through the AGFP.

These measures were effective from April 15 to July 15, 2020.