MALAYBALAY CITY (Dec. 01, 2023/PIA) – Over 5,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will benefit from Republic Act (RA) 11953, known as the New Agrarian Emancipation Act (NAEA), following the recent launch of the Condonation Response Desk (CORD) by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bukidnon
Regional Director Zoraida Macadindang of DAR-Northern Mindanao said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. signed the NAEA into law on July 9 this year, which condones all loans, including interest, penalties, and surcharges incurred by ARBs from land awarded to them.
She said the CORD serves as a command center to expedite the processing of necessary documents for ARBs in the province’s 20 towns and two cities in compliance with the new law.
“The CORD aims to liberate ARBs from debt bondage, giving them leeway to boost productivity. Agrarian reform lawyers will be stationed at the quick response centers to aid in processing the applications of ARBs for debt condonation and amortization under RA 11953, or the NAEA,” Macadindang said.
The law’s benefits for ARBs include exemption from payment of estate tax and mandatory inclusion in the Registry System of Basic Sectors in Agriculture to give them easy access to support services of the Department of Agriculture.
Lawyer Mitchell Talatala, representing Malaybalay City Mayor Jay Warren Pabillaran, said the city government wholeheartedly backs the DAR programs.
“The New Agrarian Emancipation Act has waived debts and fees, including real property tax condonations, for our agrarian reform beneficiaries. It made a significant impact on their lives,” Talatala said.
Meanwhile, DAR-Bukidnon Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Jammal Pangandaman asserted that the new agrarian reform law empowers farmers to affirm and protect their rights.
“Agrarian reform is not just a set of policies. It is a social justice movement. It revolves around empowering farmers, the marginalized, and landless individuals,” he said. (By Bernadith G. Epan edited by RLRB, /PIA-10/Bukidnon)