Bayanihan II seen providing relief to agrarian reform beneficiaries

THE newly signed Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Heal As One Law (Bayanihan II) features relief measures benefiting agrarian reform beneficiaries, including loan condonation, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said.

At a virtual briefing Tuesday, Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones pointed to Section 4 of the Bayanihan II which provides for condonation of interest, penalties, and surcharges on loans used to acquire land.

Bayanihan II also allows restructuring of outstanding principal without interest.

In a virtual briefing on Tuesday, Agrarian said that under Bayanihan II, the interest payment is now condoned and has restructured the principal obligation of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“The measure is most timely as the DAR is launching its projects to ensure the productivity of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)-awarded lands, the parcelization of collective Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs), and the validation of the agrarian reform beneficiaries national listing,” Mr. Castriciones said.

Republic Act No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law required agrarian reform beneficiaries to pay for the agricultural land granted to them over 30 years from the issuance of the certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs), at an interest rate of 6%.

According to DAR Undersecretary Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan, before the passage of Bayanihan II, the Bicameral Conference Committee headed by Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara and Camarines Sur 2nd District Rep. Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. clarified that the new provision related to agrarian reform beneficiaries amends Section 26 of Republic Act No. 6657.

Land Bank of the Philippines Senior Vice-President Alex A. Lorayes said the restructuring of the outstanding principal without any interest will benefit 273,830 agrarian reform beneficiaries who farm 433,977 hectares.

Meanwhile, Mr. Castriciones said that he will convene the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council Executive Committee to assist the DAR in creating the implementing rules and regulations of the new provision under Bayanihan II. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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