Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda says the impending enactment of the proposed New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which will free some 654,000 farmers from government debt, is poised to become President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s biggest legislative accomplishment yet.
Salceda, chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, is one of the principal authors of the measure.
New Agrarian Emancipation Act will be PBBM's 'biggest legislative achievement', says Salceda
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The impending enactment of the proposed New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which will free some 654,000 farmers from government debt, is poised to become President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.'s biggest legislative accomplishment yet.
Thus, said Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda, one of the principal authors of the measure. It is now up for the President’s signature.
"[The] New Agrarian Emancipation Act, a decades-long work I have pushed for since my first term in Congress in 1998, will be PBBM's (Marcos) biggest legislative accomplishment to date," Salceda told House reporters in a statement.
"I pushed for this in the Arroyo cabinet -- and we approved this in the Cabinet, but never got to legislate it. I pushed for it again during the past administration, but DOF (Department of Finance) opposed. Finally, we see success. History will be made," said the Bicolano.
The House Committee on Ways and Means chairman said the landmark measure will condone P58.125 billion in agrarian arrears benefiting 654,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). The coverage is a total of 1.18 million hectares of awarded lands, he said.
"I congratulate PBBM on this historic accomplishment, this early in his term," Salceda said.
Marcos took office on June 30, 2022 after winning the Palace race via historic majority vote.
Referring to the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, Salceda said: "It will also exempt such lands from estate tax for the first transfer, as well as provide them with a tax amnesty until 2025."
He said local government units (LGUs) will also be encouraged to enact local amnesties on the same lands.
"It also establishes comprehensive support services for ARBs, something we should have done long past. The lack of support services for ARBs has resulted in almost P418 billion in lost productivity for all CARP lands every year (for the 10.3 million hectares of CARP land).
"I expect productivity gains of at least 33.5 billion every year from the condoned lands alone," Salceda further said.
CARP stands for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.