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DAR: P58-B to be ‘written off’ from proposed condonation of agrarian reform loans

Billions of pesos worth of liabilities are set to be written off from the proposed measure by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to condone the land amortization fees and interests incurred by agrarian reform beneficiaries, Agrarian Reform Secretary Condrado Estrella III said Saturday.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, Estrella said the existing agrarian reform loans have reached P58 billion.

Earlier, in his first State of the Nation Address, Marcos asked Congress to pass a law that will amend Section 26 of Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1998. 

The President said this law will emancipate the agrarian reform beneficiaries from the debt burden.

Estrella early last month said about 650,000 farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries stand to benefit from the proposed condonation measure. 

During the radio interview, the Agrarian Reform chief said the condonation program will not affect the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“Malaking bagay din ito sa mga magsasaka kasi imbes na babayaran nila ang kanilang lupa ay gagamitin na lang nila na karagdagang puhunan para sa ganoon ay mas mapabuti nila ang kanilang pagsasaka at mas marami ang kanilang aanihin at mas malaki ang kanilang kikitain,” he said.

(This is a big deal for 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.)

Senator Imee Marcos has filed Senate Bill Nos. 178 and 112 seeking to legislate “a complete write-off of all unpaid amortizations from loans secured under all agrarian reform programs.” 

Estrella also reiterated that the executive order on the one-year moratorium on the payments for the amortization and interest agrarian reform beneficiaries will be signed by Marcos when he turns 65 on September 13. —KG, GMA News