Press Release
December 13, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara is looking forward to improved access to credit for farmers following the Rural Banker's Association of the Philippines' (RBAP) announcement that rural banking is getting stronger as an industry.

RBAP executive director Vicente Mendoza announced this weekend that the industry is becoming stronger, contrary to claims by the the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.'s (PDIC) that the country's rural banking industry is growing weaker.

Angara said rural banks must focus on lending to farmers and fisherfolk, for whom access to credit is a vital lifeline.

"It is a sad fact that most of our farmers still struggle to borrow enough money for the harvest season. Therefore we must maximize this upswing in the rural banking industry to ensure that they have access to sufficient credit in the coming fiscal year," said the former head of the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions & Currencies.

According to Angara, the post-harvest network and distribution systems in the provinces also deserve a boost from the gradually improving Philippine economy.

"Now that the country's financial institutions are in good shape, we see new opportunities to keep rural trade active and optimize our massive agricultural resources," he said.

Angara, vice-chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, also asserted that our rural industries serve as the backbone of the Philippine economy, and should be given the much-needed financial support.

"A huge part of our economy is fueled by the rural industry, especially those in the agriculture sector. A much-needed boost in funding support for our farmers will spur growth in the provinces and raise farmers' income," he stated.

According to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), there are currently 661 rural banks in the country.

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