DBP pilots e-payment ID cards, cashless disbursements to Isabela farmers

State-owned lender Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) has chosen PayMaya as the digital financial services partner for its assistance program, which aims to help farmers improve their livelihood and productivity.

Photo shows (from left): PayMaya director and head of enterprise business Mar Lazaro; Isabela governor Rodito T. Albano III; Department of Agriculture secretary William D. Dar; NMI Agri Coop president Ana Cristina Siquian-Go; and DBP president and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa

Under the program, farmer beneficiaries will be able to receive payments for produce as well as disbursements from cash assistance from DBP-partner local governments and organizations through their PayMaya-powered ID cards. PayMaya will also be providing the cashless disbursement platform to the partner organizations.

To complete the digital financial ecosystem, PayMaya will enable more businesses — especially in retail, food, fuel, and utility industries — that cater to farmers and their families to accept emerging cashless payment options, including PayMaya QR.

It will also mobilize its Smart Padala by PayMaya nation-widest partner branch network to serve as “digital outposts” in the communities so farmers and their families can conveniently add or cash-out funds even in areas without ATMs.

“Giving our farmers much-needed access to financial products to help uplift their livelihood is an important mission for DBP as part of our thrust toward financial inclusion for every Filipino. By employing digital means to deliver crucial financial services to them, we are able to help boost their productivity, increase their yields, improve their lives, and contribute to the growth of the economy as a whole,” said DBP president and CEO Emmanuel G. Herbosa.

“This is financial inclusion at its finest and most relevant, serving the needs of one of the most underserved sectors of our society — our farmers. This project brings important digital financial services to the agriculture sector, serving as building blocks toward the growth of our economy,” said Orlando B. Vea, founder and CEO of PayMaya.

The initial implementation will be targeting rice and tobacco farmers in Isabela Province, with the Provincial Government of Isabela and the Nagkaisang Magsasaka ng Isabela Agricultural Cooperative (NMIAC) as program partners.

Dubbed as the Isabela Prosperity Program, the pilot will cover two sets of farmer beneficiaries: tobacco farmers covered by the Isabela Province Tobacco Farmers Proceeds and rice farmer members of NMI Agri Coop who will benefit from NMI Agri Coop loan with DBP, selling their palay at a premium price under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance of the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (ERCA-RCEF).

DBP and PayMaya are partnering with the Provincial Government of Isabela to more efficiently disburse the proceeds of the province’s share in the excise tax collections on burley and native tobacco among farmers in the region through PayMaya-powered ID cards.

“This initiative will help boost not just the productivity but also the competitiveness of farmers in Isabela, as they will be provided with crucial financial services that can help with their farm livelihoods, powered by technology. We thank our partners at DBP and PayMaya for choosing Isabela as the pilot site for this innovative collaboration,” said Rodito T. Albano III, provincial governor of Isabela.

Likewise, the DBP and PayMaya are working with the NMIAC to more efficiently disburse and buy rice crops at a premium rate from its member-farmers in the province under the Expanded Rice Credit Assistance under the ERCA-RCEF, also via ID cards powered by PayMaya. This is seen as an immediate boost to mitigate the impact of the Rice Tariffication Law, in parallel with a more sustainable program to improve livelihood resiliency.

“Farmers are the lifeblood of our nation, as they help provide food to each family’s table. By empowering them with a financial account where they can conveniently and securely receive funds through our partners DBP and PayMaya, and helping them improve their livelihood, we are ensuring the growth and stability of our nation,” added Ana Cristina Siquian-Go, president of NMIAC.

The first batch of farmer-beneficiaries received their NMIAC ID cards powered by PayMaya during a provincial launch event last October 12 in Roxas, Isabela. The event was attended by over 4,000 farmer beneficiary members of NMIAC, with Senator Villar and the Department of Agriculture secretary William D. Dar participating in the activity.

The program partners will also conduct relevant digital and financial literacy campaigns to spur adoption and build overall financial inclusion in the communities. 

By equipping farmers with PayMaya-powered ID cards, they are able to gain instant and convenient access to a “starter” financial account which can help them with their day-to-day transactions. This also provides the gateway for them to avail of other financial products and services.

The partnership also provides DBP and its partners with a seamless, convenient, and transparent means to disburse funds, loan proceeds, and other payments to their partner-beneficiaries, allowing for greater operational efficiencies and security. It also extends the reach of DBP to communities with limited bank branch and ATM presence.

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