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Marcos signs law condoning unpaid debts of agrarian reform beneficiaries

by Carl Santos

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed a law on Friday condoning the unpaid debts of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Marcos signed the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, or Republic Act 11593, at a ceremony held in Malacañan Palace. 

Expected to benefit from the new law are 610,054 Filipino farmers who till more than 1.7 million hectares of agrarian reform land, making them debt-free from P57.65 billion worth of agrarian arrears.

The new law condones all unpaid amortizations, including interests and surcharges, for awarded lands under RA 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, and other measures. 

”These shall be condoned, provided that these ARBs have been indebted to the government as of the end of 2022,” the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said in a press release.

The PCO said the principal loans valued at P14.5 billion of the 263,622 ARBs, whose names and loan details were submitted by the Landbank of the Philippines to Congress, shall be condoned outright.

The condonation of the remaining P43.06 billion in loans to 346,432 ARBs shall take effect upon submission of the details of the indebtedness of ARBs by the LBP and the Department of Agrarian Reform to Congress.

The government will assume the obligation for the payment of just compensation to landowners under the Voluntary Land Transfer or Direct Payment schemes for the benefit of 10,201 ARBs, with total payables of P206.25 million.

”I know that the government can and must do more to alleviate the plight of our agrarian reform beneficiaries,” Marcos said in his speech.

”Free land distribution must go hand-in-hand with broadening the provision of credit facilities and support services in the form of farm inputs, equipment and facilities to our farmers, as well as the construction of more farm-to-market roads. These efforts will yield more sustainable farms and higher incomes for our farmers,” he added.

”As President, I assure you we will never stop providing our farmers with the support that they need to help make their farms more productive while also improving their lives and that of their families.”



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