Government finances may be set back to the tune of P58 billion, but some 650,000 farmers and agrarian beneficiaries would be freed from worries and anxieties over their unpaid bills for the amortization of the lands awarded to them by the state.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III said the government is set to write off the farmers’ P58-billion arrears in amortization fees and interests pursuant to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement in the first State of the Nation Address where the Chief Executive asked Congress to amend Section 26 of the 1988 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.
Marcos said the amendment would emancipate the agrarian reform beneficiaries from the debt burden. The measure, he said, would ensure the success of the administration’s food security program.
Estrella has said about 650,000 farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries would benefit from the proposed condonation program, adding it would not adversely affect the national gross domestic product.
“This is a big deal for the farmers because instead of paying for their lands, they can use the money as additional capital to improve their production and harvest, thus they can earn more,” Estrella said.
Senator Imee Marcos filed Senate Bill Nos. 178 and 112 seeking to legislate “a complete write-off of all unpaid amortizations of loans secured under all agrarian reform programs.”
Estrella also said the executive order on the one-year moratorium on t payments for the amortization and interest by agrarian reform beneficiaries will be signed by Marcos when he (Marcos) turns 65 on September 13.