Press Release
May 08, 2024

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), through its social development arm, BPI Foundation (BPIF), has partnered with the Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) to empower local farmers in San Carlos, Negros Occidental.

BPI Foundation and DA-PhilRice empower farmers in San Carlos, Negros Occidental with new farm truck and compact rice mill.

To kick off the partnership, BPI and DA-PhilRice turned over a farm truck and compact rice mill to RiceBIS Farmers benefiaciaries as part of the Enhancing Market Potential, Opportunities, Welfare, and Economic Resilience (EMPOWER) project. This project marks BPI Foundation's first initiative in supporting rice farmers and seeks to bolster the competitiveness and economic well-being of rice farmers in Negros Occidental.

The EMPOWER project aims to strengthen local rice production, ensure food security, and address malnutrition in the Visayas region. The initiative also supports farmers in adopting sustainable practices, boosting productivity, and expanding income opportunities by introducing climate-resilient technologies and hosting capacity-building workshops.

BPI Foundation and DA-PhilRice hope to help more farmers enhance their agricultural practices and improve their livelihoods.

Sa pamamagitan po ng aming Farm to Table program, layunin namin magbigay ng kaukulang suporta at oportunidad sa mga magsasaka na tulad ninyo, upang makamit po ninyo ang mas magandang buhay at kinabukasan, with the right amount of income and new ways of farming,” said Carmina Marquez, BPIF Executive Director to the farmers present during the turnover ceremony. “We at BPI Foundation envision a financially inclusive Philippines. Kasama Lahat sa Pag-Unlad, at kasama po kayo sa pag-unlad na ito.”

San Carlos has the biggest land area among the 18 barangays with 45,150 hectares of land. Most residents rely on agriculture as their main source of income. The truck and rice mill will service more than 320 farmers.

Photo shows (from left) Anileen Pajarillo, Focal Person of RiceBIS 2.0 Program - Negros; Melanie Magbuhos, BPIF Program Manager for Farm-to-Table; Juvylyn Reniva, BPIF Associate Director; Carmina Marquez, BPIF Executive Director; Hernan Samson, Chair of QueCoRiFaCO; Dr. Karen Eloisa Barroga, DA-PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development; Dr. Diadem Gonzales-Esmero, Program Leader of RiceBIS 2.0 Program; Leo Sta. Ines, OIC - PhilRice Negros Station; and Dr. Dina Genzola, OIC - Provincial Agriculturist.

“PhilRice is happy and proud to be part of this initiative that empowers rice farming communities toward prosperity,” said Dr. Karen Eloisa Barroga, DA-PhilRice Deputy Executive Director for Development. “Through the project, we see the importance of public-private sectors being united in vision and efforts. The truck, rice mill, and working capital provided by the BPI Foundation are blessings so be good stewards of these resources, multiply them, and share them.”

BPI remains committed to promoting responsible banking and sustainability programs for community well-being. Through collaborative efforts with government institutions and private organizations, the bank takes significant strides toward creating a financially inclusive nation as part of its vision to help build a better Philippines – one family, one community at a time.

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