A party-list group representing farmers on Saturday called for the scrapping of what he described as "unconscionable and cruel" 3.5 percent a year management fee that state-owned banks will charge on the P1-billion credit fund for small farmers under the Rice Tariffication Law.
"The P1 billion is a pittance when viewed in the environment of almost zero credit for small rice farmers and their many other woes,” said former lawmaker Cecil Chavez, a senior member of the Butil Party-list group.
“Why would two government banks charge management fees for the elementary task of looking for conduits for that negligible P1-billion fund?“ she added.
Chavez asked President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene to force the Land Bank of the Philippines and the Development Bank of the Philippines to forgo the 3.5 percent management fee to eliminate the administrative cost on that small fund.
The people in government corporate banking already enjoy decent salaries and other perks, said Chavez.
In contrast, the three-million rice farmers have been denied loans even by the institutions that were organized to help small farmers, particularly the LandBank, she added.
“Just look at the two situations. Government corporate bankers lead good lives. The small rice farmers are grievously suffering from the impact of the unlimited rice importation. Yet, the corporate bankers of government still charge a cruel management fee on a credit fund that is being raised on the back of the small farmers’ miseries," she said.
Chavez said she finds ironic that the two government banks still feel that the management fee of 3.5 percent is inadequate and should be raised to the standard level of 4.5 percent a year.