Corn farmers from Capiz successfully reduced the loan interest rate imposed by merchant-usurers by half. After a series of meeting-dialogues and negotiations held by corn farmers in the towns of Cuartero, Maayon and Tapaz with traders, a memorandum of agreement was signed by representatives of both parties last October.
The agreement states that the compounded interest rate on seedlings, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide loaned by farmers from merchant-usurers is reduced from 20% (P5,000) to 10% (P2,500) per planting season (four months).
Moreover, traders are now obliged to comply with the suggested retail price of corn in the local market and reduce the resiko (moisture content) rate. Traders are also obliged to issue official receipts to farmers upon payment of their debts. To prevent swindling, it was agreed upon that the traders are now obliged to have their weighing scales recalibrated every month. On the other hand, farmers are no longer obliged to pay loan interests if their farms are devastated by calamities.
Because of this initial victory, the farmers pledged to further advance their campaign against other exploitative arrangements still being employed by traders including overpricing of farm inputs.
The continuing campaign against usury is spearheaded by Pamanggas sang mga Mangunguma sa Panay kag Guimaras and Kahublagan sang mga Mangunguma kag Mamumugon sa Uma sa Capiz.