PBBM freezes land amortization and interest payments
Today, his 65th birthday marks the fulfillment of another commitment made by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), that of emancipating the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from their debts.
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 (CARP).
The President said that the one-year moratorium on land amortization and interest payments would help unburden the ARBs from their debts, enabling them to use the money instead in developing their farms, maximizing their capacity to produce and propel the growth of the economy.
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said the executive order on moratorium is in preparation for another fulfillment of the commitment of the President, which is for Congress to pass a law that will condone the loans of ARBs with unpaid amortization and interests.
“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.
He expressed willingness to work and cooperate with the House of Representatives in the amendment of Section 26 of Republic Act 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988.
“The condonation of the existing agrarian reform loan will cover the amount of PhP58.125 billion benefiting around 654,000 ARBs and involving a total of 1.18 million hectares of awarded lands,” Marcos said in his first SONA.
Section 26 of the Republic Act 6657, requires the ARBs who were awarded lands to pay to the Land Bank of the Philippines in 30 annual amortizations at six percent interest per annum.
Marcos said that under the proposed law, the loans of ARBs with unpaid amortization and interest shall be condoned and erase the outstanding debts of the farmers who are beneficiaries of agrarian reform.
“ARBs who are still to receive their awarded lands under the CARP shall receive it without obligation to pay any amortization," Marcos said.