Lapid seeks condonation of unpaid interests for agrarian reform beneficiaries
MANILA, Philippines — A bill condoning all unpaid interest, penalties, and surcharges on loans and amortizations of lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries has been filed in the Senate.
According to Senator Lito Lapid, he filed Senate Bill No. 1179 to help farmers “recover and overcome the fallout of COVID-19 crisis, slow economic growth and escalating wars.”
“Condoning their land amortization will provide them the much-needed financial resources that shall develop their farms, increase their productivity and advance an agriculture-driven economy,” Lapid said in the bill.
“In the end, it desires to improve the lives of farmers, reduce poverty, accelerate rural development and promote food security,” he added.
Under his bill, the government will cond all unpaid interest, penalties, surcharges on loans, and amortizations due from farmer-beneficiaries, “thereby relieving all farmer-beneficiaries from the payment thereof.”
Once enacted into law and effective, the beneficiaries shall be deemed to have completed payment. Accordingly, they would be authorized to take all the remaining necessary steps to establish full ownership of the lands awarded to them.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. himself has asked Congress to pass a law that will emancipate the debt burden of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.
For his part, the President promised to issue an executive order imposing a one-year moratorium on the payment of land amortization and interest payments of the farmers.
“Ang agrarian reform program ay dapat magpatuloy, (The agrarian reform must continue) [because] agrarian reform is not only about acquisition but also about support services and distribution,” Marcos said in his first state of the nation address last month.
“To assist this, I intend to issue an executive order to impose a one-year moratorium on the payment of land amortization and interest payments,” he said.
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