Banks asked for soft loans to livestock producers

MALAYBALAY CITY  (MindaNews/15 December) — Government-owned banks should extend soft loans for businessmen who had been affected by typhoon Pablo, in particular those from the livestock industry, Mayor Rey Baula of Sumilao told MindaNews.

Baula, whose family is into the poultry industry, said they needed loans with lower interest rates and longer terms for a quick turnaround from their losses.

A number of poultry farms are based in Sumilao, including the San Miguel Foods Inc. More others are based in Malaybalay City, Impasugong, and Baungon.

The mayor reacted to the presentation at the Provincial Development Council Wednesday on the total damages for livestock, P6.785 million, from the Provincial Veterinary Office.

“That is not realistic, (the figure is too small),” he added.

Dr. Nancy Diez, provincial veterinarian, clarified that what was presented referred only to estimates from backyard livestock farms.

Baula said his family’s farms lost at least P7 million to damages in structures aside from the cost of fowls that died.

Dr. Cesar Gutierrez, a PVO veterinarian, told this reporter Friday the total damage to structures and birds so far were estimated at P28.28 million in 15 farms in the province.

“This is the worst to have ever hit our livestock industry so far,” he added.

The list includes estimates from Bounty Fresh, San Miguel Foods, Inc. and VRDF, he said. A total of 28 poultry houses were reported damaged to the PVO.

The Development Bank of the Philippines has already initiated a survey of affected industries for a guideline on the possible facility it may extend to them.

“But there has been no fixed program yet downloaded to the branches so far,” said a DBP loans account officer who asked not to be quoted. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)