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July 10, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 208 views

WITH the newly-signed Republic Act (RA) No. 11953, or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, thousands of farmers will now have extra resources to spend on food, education, shelter, wellness and other family expenses.

This is according to Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez as over 600,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) can now focus on “living their lives to the fullest” and work to realize their dreams and aspirations for their families.

“Before, our farmers have been restrained by the crippling thought of losing the land they till to huge and unpaid debts. They can now put all of their efforts into cultivating their lands and providing for their families’ needs instead of being immobilized by debt,” Romualdez said.

“This is why I am proud to be a part of the 19th Congress that crafted and passed the New Agrarian Emancipation Act. It is indeed a ‘legacy legislation’ that will benefit not only the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform program but their families, their communities and the whole nation as well,” he added.

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos recently signed RA 11953, which condones P57.56 billion worth of debt of 610,054 ARBs who are cultivating a total of 1.173 million hectares of land. These beneficiaries are all under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“They can now dream big and persevere for the sake of their families. They have been spared from having to contend with indebtedness. Masarap mangarap para sa ating pamilya lalo na’t walang iniisip na problema,” the House leader from Leyte said.

Under the new law, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will issue Certificates of Condonation in favor of ARBs, which shall be annotated on the Emancipation Patent (EP) or Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), as the case may be.

Then the condonation takes effect, and the appropriate Registry of Deeds shall register the EP, CLOA, or any other title pursuant to the applicable agrarian reform law, along with the annotation of the Notice of Condonation.

He added that aside from the condonation of the indebtedness, additional benefits of RA 11953 include the mandatory inclusion of ARBs in the Registry System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) entitling them to support services from government agencies; preference to credit facilities, support services, and relevant programs; exemption of awarded land from gross estate for purposes of estate tax; and restitution of the agrarian reform award in case of forfeiture solely due to non-payment of annual amortization and interest.

The New Agrarian Emancipation Act is among the 33 pieces of legislation the House has approved to date out of the original 42 priority measures of the Marcos administration identified through the Legislative-Executive Advisory Council (LEDAC).