With the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 11953 or the new agrarian emancipation law, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Monday, Sept. 18, said it will put up condonation quick response centers nationwide to serve agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
“Ako ay pipirma ng isang SO o Special Order, kami ay mag-cre-create ng condonation quick response centers sa lahat ng lalawigan ng Pilipinas, ganoon din sa central office ng agrarian reform (I will sign a Special Order or SO for us to create condonation quick response centers in all regions in the Philippines, as well as in the agrarian reform central office),” Agrarian Reform Sec. Conrado Estrella III said during a televised public briefing aired at state-run PTV-4.
The new lawyers hired by the agrarian reform department will be tapped to man the condonation quick response centers to help farmers, he said.
“This is very timely because we have just hired more lawyers and they can attend to our farmers to quickly process their applications,” the DAR chief said in Filipino.
The agency said the new law will benefit over 600,000 farmers in the country who are burdened by debt.
Estrella said they are targeting to process the applications of around 200,000 farmers this year.
“About 600,000 farmers ang makikinabang dito---agrarian reform beneficiaries. We’ll try our best para nang sa ganoon at least maka-proseso kami ng mga 200,000 [applications] this 2023 (About 600,000 farmers will benefit from this---agrarian reform beneficiaries. We’ll try our best so that we could at least process around 200,000 applications),” he said.
According to the DAR chief, they finished crafting the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the new law ahead of time.
“Napakaganda ng aming proseso sapagkat involved namin ang iba’t ibang sector, the cross-section of the stakeholders. Nagpapasalamat kami sa kanila dahil pinagsipagan din nila (Our process is very good because we involved different sectors, the cross-section of the stakeholders. We thank them because they also worked hard for this),” said Estrella.
“Nag-conduct kami ng mga public consultation; dalawa sa Luzon, isa sa Visayas, isa sa Mindanao (We have also conducted public consultations; two in Luzon, one in Visayas, and another one in Mindanao).”
In July this year, President Marcos signed RA No. 11953, which condones all unpaid amortizations, including the principal debt, interests, and surcharges for ARBs that have been awarded lands under various agrarian reform laws.