President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has imposed a yearlong moratorium on the payment of land amortization and interest payments through an executive order signed on Tuesday.
According to the Department of Agrarian Reform, the EO is the realization of the President’s campaign promise of unburdening farmers of their debts as he serves as the Department of Agriculture secretary.
“Marcos Jr. today signed the Executive Order imposing a year-long moratorium on payments on the annual amortization and interest payments of ARBs for agricultural lands distributed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program,” the DAR announced in a statement.
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said the EO was signed in preparation for the possible passage of a law that would condone unpaid amortization and interests of agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“We always think about the farmers’ welfare. The one-year moratorium and condonation of farmers’ loan payment will lead to freedom of farmers from debts,” Estrella said.
The Agriculture Reform chief also expressed its office’s favor of amending Section 26 of Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988.
Marcos said the condonation of the existing agrarian reform loan would cover P58.125 billion and will benefit around 654,000 ARBs involving a total of 1.18 million hectares of awarded lands.
Under EO 75, all government agencies, bureaus, departments, and instrumentalities shall turn over agricultural lands to qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Currently, the government has a total of 52,000 hectares of unused agricultural lands which will be distributed to landless war veterans, landless surviving spouses and orphans of war veterans, and landless retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.
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