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The House approves a bill to restructure agricultural loans.

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The House of Representatives has blocked the second reading of a bill that would once-for-all excuse farmers, fishermen, and beneficiaries of the agricultural reform from paying loan penalties and interest.

The proposed Agrarian and Agricultural Loan Restructuring and Condonation Act, or House Bill 5702, was adopted by the house at Tuesday’s plenary session through a voice vote.

The measure aims to make it easier for farmers, fishermen, and recipients of agrarian reform who have unpaid debts to reintegrate into the financial and banking system, allowing them to use other credit facilities.

All unpaid interest, penalties, and surcharges on agricultural and agrarian loans guaranteed by farmers, fishers, agrarian reform beneficiaries, the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA), CDA-registered cooperatives, agrarian reform beneficiary organizations, and farmer organizations from the Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, People’s Credit, and Finance Corporation, National Food Authority, and Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation will be covered by the measure.

It states that the loan condonation does not cover purposeful default by a borrower and that it only applies to circumstances of force majeure or market aberration.

Another prerequisite for forgiveness is that at the time of application, cumulative payments totaling at least 2% of the loan principal must have been made.

Loans obtained through conduit banks, financial institutions, and the agencies mentioned above must be forgiven of unpaid interest, penalties, and surcharges in accordance with the relevant general banking laws and rules of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

After three consecutive payments by the borrower, loans that were restructured in accordance with the proposed law will be reinstated.

Governmental organizations may provide the borrower with the necessary certifications, easing their reintegration into the banking and financial system.

The debts secured by lending programs that have been terminated must be written off from the accounts of the respective organizations.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. encouraged Congress to approve a bill that will relieve agrarian reform beneficiaries of their loan obligations so they can focus on increasing agricultural output during his first State of the Nation Address in July of last year.

According to Marcos, taking such action would guarantee the administration’s agenda for food security’s success.

Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

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