Press Release
March 5, 2010


In the face of the El Niño phenomenon, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. today expressed optimism that ordinary farmers and fisherfolk in the countryside will indeed benefit from the recently-enacted Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act.

The reelectionist senator stressed that Republic Act 10000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act, which he authored, is aimed to make small and medium scale enterprises and industries, particularly those engaged in agriculture and fisheries in the countryside, thrive by means of larger capital and access to bank credit.

"The enactment of the law is timely considering the dilemma being experienced right now by our small farmers and fisherfolks from the El Niño. We need to protect them from the effects of the phenomenon," he pointed out.

He explained that prior to the passage of the Agri-Agra Reform Act, there is already the Presidential Decree 717 or the Agri-Agra Law that requires banks to set aside 25% of their loanable funds for agricultural lending - 15% for agricultural production and 10% for agrarian reform. However, the said law allowed banks to divert the 10% agrarian reform share to government securities.

"The Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act redirects the 25% loanable fund in favor of small farmers and small and medium scale enterprises. With credit available in the countryside, business enterprises are expected to thrive, thus, providing more jobs and livelihood opportunities to our people," said Bong Revilla.

Under RA 10000, all banking institutions, whether government or private, shall set aside at least twenty-five percent (25%) of their total loanable funds for agriculture and fisheries credit in general, of which at least ten percent (10%) of the loanable funds shall be made available for agrarian reform beneficiaries.

"Right now, there are continous reports of drought in various farmlands across the country, as well as fish kill incidents. It is our duty to promote rural development by enhancing access of the agricultural and aquacultural sector to financial services and programs that would increase their production," Bong Revilla added.

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