ILAGAN CITY, Isabela: To revive the local hog industry, the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has allotted initial funding of P500 million for swine projects of small enterprises, including start-up commercial hog raisers.

This was announced during the rollout of the Swine R3 Credit Program (SR3CP) on Friday here hosted by the provincial government of Isabela, led by Gov. Rodolfo Albano 3rd, in partnership with the DA-ACPC, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Charoen Pokphand Foods (CPF) Philippines.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar led the launching of the funding program.

According to Emmanuel Herbosa, DBP president and chief executive officer, the DBP has allotted about P12 billion in loans for commercial hog raisers.

Herbosa said the SR3CP, DBP's newest loan facility, is a much-needed boost toward repopulation, rehabilitation and recovery of the local swine industry to ensure the continuous supply and availability of swine and pork products, and to stabilize pork prices in the country.

With this new program, the DBP is offering a solution of tangible funding support so the hog industry can increase its production level, he said.

"Under the SR3CP, DBP will provide funding assistance to eligible public and private institutions to establish bio-secured swine farm products. With concerted efforts, we will be able to grow a local swine industry so that we can better meet consumer demand and we can achieve more stable pork prices in the Philippine market," Herbosa said.

He noted that to complement the SR3CP, the DBP has partnered with CPF Philippines represented by Nattakorn Sujipittham.

"We are collaborating with CPF to ensure the viability of implementing biosecurity measures to further assist eligible swine investor-partners," Herbosa said.

He also noted that for the public sector, DBP can provide the financing for the establishment of consolidated swine facilities so local government units can consolidate backyard hog raisers in their municipalities and provinces.

"The lending programs are bonded to intensify support to the agriculture industry [which is] reflective of DBP's alliance [with] the DA to promote agribusiness for countryside development, Herbosa said.

He said the DBP will also continue to finance to support projects engaged in the production, harvesting, processing and marketing of crops, poultry, livestock and fishery.

"We will continue to finance the whole value chain from production to postharvest processing and marketing," he said, urging stakeholders to partner with DA and DBP.

He explained that at this point in the nation's history, productive collaboration and developmental partnership with the private sector and with right-minded stakeholders is crucial.

"The DBP SR3CP is the latest comprehensive line-up of boosters that will develop and implement all our desired initiatives. Please join us as we lay the groundwork toward a more food-secure Philippines," Herbosa said.