Congressman: Marcos to order agrarian debt pardon 


PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. would sign an order imposing a moratorium in the collection of P58 billion in agrarian reform debts of about 654,000 farmers, according to a congressman. 

Albay Rep. Jose Ma. Clemente S. Salceda, who authored a bill that seeks to pardon the debts covering 1.18 million hectares of awarded land, said it would be the first major executive order that the president would issue for farmers. “So, it is historic,” he said in a statement sent through Viber. 

“It sends an unmistakable signal to Congress about where the president wants to take this,” he said. “He means what he says in the state of the nation address. We need to enact a law condoning the P58 billion in agrarian reform beneficiary debts.” 

The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 mandates that land awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries be paid in thirty annual amortizations at 6% interest per year.  

“With this executive order, President Marcos is wielding the might of his 59% mandate — a mandate built heavily on his emphasis on farmer and rural development,” Mr. Salceda said. — Matthew Carl L. Montecillo