UCPB-CIIF Finance and Development Corp. released P125.6 million in new livelihood loans to small coconut farmers in the third quarter of the year bringing its year-to-date September total to P278.7 million.
The loans financed livelihood activities of 3,897 coconut farmers in 60 coconut-producing provinces across the country aimed at augmenting their income from coconut farming.
UCPB-CIIF Finance, one of the social development arms of the UCPB Group and the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Group, is tasked with delivering credits to the countryside in keeping with the two groups’ common mandate to help improve the living condition of coconut farmers.
Company president Edgardo Amistad said UCPB-CIIF Finance has been providing financing to coconut farmers since 1995 for short-gestation projects that generate quick returns such as cash crop cultivation, livestock raising, commodities trading and village-based processing of coconut by-products like coconut sugar.
Total loans released by UCPB-CIIF Finance over the past 32 years is nearing the P10-billion mark at P9.3 billion. The loans have benefitted 447,000 coconut farmers.
Amistad said the UCPB Group and the CIIF companies formed UCPB-CIIF Finance in late 1994 to engage in development lending to coconut farmers, who have difficulty tapping other formal credit sources owing to their small size and the relatively higher risk of their micro-enterprises.
The loans are released through rural financial institutions (RFI), the bulk of which are cooperatives. UCPB-CIIF Finance has a network of these countryside partners that can reach out to over 20,300 barangays in 68 coconut provinces.
In addition to development lending, the UCPB Group and CIIF Group also support a scholarship program for children of coconut farmers and a reforestation program inside the Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape through the UCPB-CIIF Foundation, and a medical charity providing free surgery to children with oral cleft through Operation Smile Philippines.
The social causes the UCPB Group and CIIF Group supports are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, make available quality education to all, and promote good health and well-being.
Date published: November 9, 2018