On the occasion of the celebration of the 3rd Development Policy Research Month (DPRM), the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC), in partnership with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), will launch the book, "Rural Finance in the Philippines: Issues and Policy Challenges," on September 29, 2005, 11:00 a.m., at the Century Park Sheraton Hotel, Manila.

A research undertaking of the ACPC, the book covers the last 15 years of rural finance development in the Philippines and puts together recent studies and statistics for an analysis of the current state of rural finance in the country, underscoring recent government efforts in rural financing, developments in Philippine rural financial markets, as well as the rural finance experiences of selected Asian countries, particularly the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, the Bimas Rice Intensification unit desas (BRI-UD) program of Indonesia and the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) of Thailand.

The book is authored by PIDS Senior Research Fellow, Dr. Gilberto Llanto, one of the country`s foremost experts in rural finance policy research. It is a co-publication of the ACPC and PIDS and is being launched to coincide with this year`s celebration of the DPRM to draw nationwide awareness and appreciation of the importance and necessity of policy research as a tool for national socioeconomic development that includes rural finance.

"I am quite sure that this book will help policymakers, practitioners, academicians, and consultants better understand the history and types of interventions that the ACPC and other rural finance institutions have made in the past," says ACPC Executive Director Jovita Corpuz.

The book launch will be held on the last day of the "Planning Workshop on Integrating Training Interventions with Other Developmental Initiatives" of the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), another activity included in the DPRM`s calendar of events. The APRACA planning workshop will be held on September 27-30, 2005 in the same venue. The activity is also spearheaded by the ACPC, together with the APRACA`s Center for Training and Research in Agricultural Banking (CENTRAB). ACPC Executive Director Jovita Corpuz is concurrently the President of the Board of APRACA CENTRAB.

Participants in the workshop and the book launch will include representatives from some of APRACA`s 62 member institutions in 23 different countries in the Asia-Pacific region, namely, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Korea, Kyrgyztan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Queries concerning the book launch may be addressed to Norman William S. Kraft, Director II, Agricultural Credit Policy Council, tel. no. (632) 634-3320 to 21 loc. 120, or Adona M. Hamto, Public Affairs and Information Services Staff, tel no. (632) 634-3320 to 21 local 116, fax no. (632) 634-3319 or email adonai276@yahoo.com. ACPC is located at the 3rd floor, Agustin 1 Bldg., Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

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