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BACOLOD CITY – Administration senatorial bet Francis Tolentino recently called for stricter implementation of the Agricultural Credit Reform Act to easily open credit to farmers affected by the drought brought by El Niño.

In an interview in Bacolod City, Tolentino stressed that despite the huge budget for agricultural credit, farmers do not avail of the fund because of the paperwork involved in applying for loans.

“Ang problema, hindi maka loan yung mga mangingisda kasi ang daming paperworks… ang saming pipirmhan, ang daming documentation,” he said.

Tolentino expressed support for the proposed amendment to the law allow farmers better access to loans, saying such process should be made easily available due to adverse effects of the dry spell.

“Kapag pinahirapan natin ang magsasaka, mas mataas na naman ang presyo ng bigas. Oh may rice shortage na naman tayo. Di ba? North Cotabato, example to, mahigit 400 million na nag damage sa agriculture. Saan natin kukunin yun?” the former Tagaytay City mayor stressed.

Tolentino earlier called on local government units (LGUs) to declare a state of emergency amid concerns dry spell affecting the country could trigger serious productivity problems that would run to trillions of pesos until September this year.

“Hindi ninyo napapansin yung magnitude ng El Niño? Ang laki… akala natin uminit lang. Wala ngang tubig, pay-pay pay-pay. Malnutrisyon pa kasabay nito,” he said.

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