Bill condoning farmers’ loan will boost agri production – lawmakers
MANILA, Philippines — The impending enactment of a proposal to condone the loans of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) would be a big boost to agricultural production.
These are the positions of House of Representatives Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda.
In a statement on Friday, Romualdez said if government forgives all the loans of ARBs, they would have additional income to use for farming.
House Bill (HB) No. 6336 or the proposed New Agrarian Emancipation Bill was previously approved by the House while the Senate recently approved it as well.
The bicameral version was ratified by both Houses on March 22, 2023 and was submitted for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signature.
“When our farmers are freed from the burden of debt, they will be able to invest more in their land and improve their productivity. This can lead to better yields and profits, which can help improve the lives of our farmers and their families,” Romualdez said.
Salceda, one of the bill’s authors, believes productivity gains from this legislation would be around P33.5 billion per year.
“It also establishes comprehensive support services for ARBs, something we should have done long past. The lack of support services for ARBs has resulted in almost P418 billion in lost productivity for all CARP lands every year (for the 10.3 million hectares of CARP land),” Salceda said.
If the President signs into law the consolidated version of the Senate and the House, the individual loans of beneficiaries — including penalties and surcharges accumulated under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) — will be forgiven and written off.
The total amount to be condoned would be around P58 billion, which stands for the principal debt of over 600,000 ARBs in charge of tilling more than one million hectares of agrarian reform lands.
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