Marcos orders one-year moratorium on payments of agrarian reform beneficiaries

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network): President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has signed an executive order placing a one-year moratorium on the amortization and interest payments of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) confirmed.

According to DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III on Tuesday (Sept 13), the moratorium is a way to prepare for the President’s promise — for Congress to pass a law that will condone outstanding loans of ARBs with unpaid amortization and interests.

“We always think about the farmers’ welfare. The one-year moratorium and condonation of farmers’ loan payment will lead to freedom of farmers from debts,” Estrella said in a statement posted on the DAR website.

Videos posted by the Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) showed Marcos signing the order on Tuesday, in front of several ARBs and stakeholders who stand to benefit from the moratorium.

Around 654,000 ARBs are expected to benefit from the said move, RTVM and DAR said. With the order, Section 26 of Republic Act No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law would be amended to allow farmers some “breathing space” from their loans.

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