Marcos to the aid of the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform
The administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was developing measures to help the beneficiaries of land reform (ARB), Malacañang said on Friday.
“The President and his cabinet are discussing how the government can help the beneficiaries of land reform by implementing projects and programs such as the development of a bill on the tolerance of payments for the expenses of ‘amortization and interest on ARB loans and the provision of legal assistance for land disputes,’ the President’s office announced in a Facebook post.
Marcos, in his first State of the Nation Address, pledged to continue implementing agricultural reform programs during his tenure, including a one-year freeze on land amortization and payment interest by the ARBs.
“A moratorium will give farmers the opportunity to channel their resources into developing their farms, maximizing their ability to produce and propelling the growth of our economy,” he said.
The president also urged Congress to pass legislation that would release ARBs from their debts.
“In this law, loans of land reform beneficiaries with unpaid amortization and interest will be tolerated. The law aims to erase the unpaid debts of our land reform beneficiary farmers. allocated under the comprehensive land reform program will receive it without any obligation to pay any amortization,” Marcos said.
Marcos, also Secretary of Agriculture, also considered granting modern agricultural equipment to the ARB.
DA requests P10M from Land Reform Fund
Land Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3e has requested the Ministry of Budget and Management (DBM) to release P10 million from the land reform fund.
Estrella said his office has coordinated with the DBM for the release of the fund, of which 8.75 million pesos will be used to finance ARB’s development and sustainability program.
He added that 90% of the 10 million peso budget will be allocated to providing support services in line with the Marcos directive to help build the capacity of farmers to produce.
Estrella also acknowledged the need to address the concerns of former landowners by setting aside 1 million pesos from the requested fund for compensation for their properties which have been placed under the comprehensive land reform program.
Estrella allocated the remaining P250,000 for DAR employee welfare.
DAR launched its 10th Farm Business School in Sorsogon to help beneficiary farmers become farmer entrepreneurs by building their entrepreneurial skills.