ASF-af­fected hog rais­ers to get aid

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE - BY PRINCESS CLEA ARCELLAZ Sun.Star Staff Re­porter

SAN SI­MON - Al­most 200 small back­yard rais ers whose hogs were af­fected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) in this town are set to re­ceive fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the gov­ern­ment.

Mayor Abun­dio Pun­salan, Jr. said farm­ers who had 20 and be­low pigs that were culled due to ASF are en­ti­tled to a zero in­ter­est loan of­fered by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture's (DA) Agri­cul­tural Credit Pol­icy Coun­cil.

"They can avail of the loans of up to P30,000 de­pend­ing on the num­ber of their hogs that were af­fected by ASF. It will be payable in three years with zero per­cent in­ter­est," Pun­salan said.

Pun­salan said the as­sis­tance is aimed at help­ing the hog rais­ers re­cover from their losses by start­ing a new source of liveli­hood.

"This is sep­a­rate from the fi­nan­cial com­pen­sa­tion they al­ready re­ceived from the DA for ev­ery pig head that was culled. We wanted to ex­tend all pos­si­ble as­sis­tance we can get to our farm­ers as we un­der­stand how much the ASF af­fected their liveli­hood," he said.

New Ru­ral Bank of San Leonardo Vice Pres­i­dent Liza Ison, whose firm serves as the con­duit for the gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance, said that the fi­nan­cial loans can be used by farm­ers in any form of liveli­hood of their choice.

"There is no lim­i­ta­tion on the type of liveli­hood as long as it many can serve its pur­pose of pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive source of in­come to the af­fected farm­ers. It can be agri­cul­ture-based or even a saris­ari store," she said.

Filom­ena Ma­ca­pa­gal, one of the ASF-af­fected back­yard rais­ers, ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the lo­cal gov­ern­ment and DA for their con­tin­u­ous sup­port to the farm­ers.

She dis­closed that a to­tal of 12 hogs which are set for sale this December were culled as part of the pre­ven­tive mea­sures im­ple­mented by the gover nment .

"This is re­ally a big help to us. Al­though we would not be able to get the ac­tual sell­ing amount of our pigs, we are still happy that the gov­ern­ment is here to sup­port us," she said.

AID TO HOG RAIS­ERS. San Si­mon Mayor Abun­dio Pun­salan, Jr. in­forms ASF-af­fected back­yard hog rais­ers of the zero in­ter­est loan they can avail of through DA. -Princess Clea Arcellaz

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