Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III on Friday lauded Congress for its commitment to expedite the approval of six agrarian welfare bills.
“I thank all of you for making the effort and finding ways to uplift the economic lives of the farmers. It is so wonderful to know that all the bills authored coincide with the President’s goal of unburdening the farmers of financial problems and getting them out of extreme poverty. With all of you on our side, and working together, this endeavor is not impossible,” he said.
COOP-NATCOO party-list Rep. Felimon Espares filed a bill that would restructure and condone unpaid interests, penalties and surcharges on loans secured by farmers, fisherfolks and agrarian reform beneficiaries from the DAR, Department of Agriculture, People’s Credit and Finance Corp., Cooperative Development Authority, National Food Authority, and Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corp.
Camarines Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte and Tarlac Rep. Jaime Cojuangco filed seprate bills that would look into the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses, including a review of its existing policies and procedures on the preservation of agricultural lands.
Batangas Rep. Ralph Recto and Ilocos Sur Rep. Kristine Meehan filed HB 3178 and HB 3839, respectively, regarding agrarian welfare bills on the full crop insurance coverage to qualified farmer-beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Lanao del Norte Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo filed HB 1863 for the transfer of their provincial agrarian reform office from Tubod.
The DAR chief said he would Dimaporo to fast track the relocation of the DAR provincial office.
“We will help you in this undertaking and we will see to it that government service will continue and will not be hampered by the relocation,” he promised.
Moreover, he said, DAR would provide safety nets against losses to adverse weather conditions.