AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3rd and Land Bank of the Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Cecilia Borromeo on Wednesday formally signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on the one-year moratorium on land amortization and interest payments of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) .
It could be recalled that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had signed Executive Order 4 on his 65th birthday on September 13 imposing a one-year moratorium on the land amortization and interest payments of farmer beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Marilyn Barua-Yap said at least 655,000 ARBs will benefit from the one-year payment freeze.
Barua-Yap said that the LandBank shall suspend the collection of payments from the farmers.
She said that because of the moratorium, the government will lose at least P1 billion in revenues.
Under EO 228 series of 1987, recipients of awarded lands under Presidential Decree (PD) 27 series of 1972 shall pay the total cost of the land, including interest at the rate of six percent per annum.
While section 26 of Republic Act (RA) 6657 or the “Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988” states that lands awarded under the CARP shall be paid by the beneficiaries to the LandBank in 30 annual amortizations at six percent interest per annum.
In signing EO 4, Marcos cited the continuing disruptive effects of the pandemic and the new challenges posed on the production of crops due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as well as the effects of climate change.
“This administration finds it necessary to provide continuing economic relief to agrarian reform beneficiaries in order to assist them in the process of recovery and ensure food security in the country amidst these global uncertainties,” Marcos stated in EO 4.
Marcos directed the Department of Agrarian Reform and LandBank to jointly submit to the Office of the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, a comprehensive report on the implementation of EO 4, including the data on the number of ARBs covered by the one- year moratorium.
The one-year moratorium on the land amortization was one of Marcos’ promises during his first State of the Nation Address last July.
Aside from the moratorium, Marcos also vowed to pass a law that will pave the way for the condonation of the existing agrarian reform loans that will cover the amount of P58.125 billion benefiting around 654,000 ARBs and involving a total of 1.18 million hectares of awarded lands.