PRESIDENT Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will sign an executive order on the moratorium of payments of amortization fees and interests on loans of agrarian reform beneficiaries. He will sign this on September 13, which will coincide with his birthday, according to Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3rd.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3rd. Screengrab from House of Representatives FB Live
Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella 3rd. Screengrab from House of Representatives FB Live

During the hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations on the proposed 2023 budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Friday, Estrella told the committee members that this is part of the commitments of Marcos during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).

During his SONA, Marcos said he intends to issue an executive order to impose a one-year moratorium on the payment of land amortization and interest payments.

Estrella added that the farmers can use the amount as additional capital for other agriculture ventures.

"It will ease the burden of our land reform beneficiaries as they were affected by the ongoing pandemic," Estrella added.

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Estrella added that Marcos is also awaiting the approval of a separate law on the condonation of P58.125 billion agrarian reform loans.

The measure is expected to benefit 654,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

It aims to amend Section 26 of Republic Act (RA) 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law to give the farmers a breathing space from their loans and interests.

Section 26 states that lands awarded shall be paid by the beneficiaries to the Land Bank of the Philippines in 30 annual amortizations at six percent interest per annum.

At the same time, the panel endorsed to the plenary the 2023 proposed P15.850 billion budget of DAR after the presentation of Estrella.