100920 DBP

by Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol

Chairman, Mindanao Development Authority

Cassava farmers in at least four Lanao del Sur towns soon will no longer have to travel for two hours to reach either the city of Pagadian or Cotabato to encash checks paid to them by the processing company.

Before the end of the year, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) will establish three Automated Teller Machine (ATM) units in the towns of Malabang and Balabagan and in the compound of the cassava starch manufacturing company, Matling Industrial Commercial Corporation (MICC).

On instructions of DBP President Emmanuel Herbosa, a DBP inspection team accompanied by officials of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) checked the three locations for the ATMs.

DBP Branch Manager Wilfredo Kaamino, who led the inspection team, approved three sites for the ATMs - one in the compound of the MICC for the use of the company and farmers who deliver cassava for processing, the second in the town hall of Malabang and the third in Balabagan towns.

The DBP and MinDA team met with the officers of MICC and the mayors of Malabang and Balabagan during the inspection trip yesterday.

Malabang Mayor Tomas Macapodi and Balabagan Mayor Edna Benito both thanked DBP and MinDA for working on the establishment of the ATMs in their towns.

MICC officials had earlier brought the problem of the lack of banking facilities to the MinDA Chairman during a visit to the company's processing facilities early this year.

Ace Gaccad, chief operations officer of MICC, said that farmers had to go to Pagadian City or Cotabato City to encase their checks or the money exchange outlets in the town which charge very high service fees.

Among the concerns raised by the banks in refusing to open facilities in the area was the security risks.

MinDA will address this concern by coordinating with the Western Mindanao Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to provide ample security to the bank armored cars which will supply the ATMs with cash.

DBP President Herbosa said the ATMs will be opened before the end of the year.

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