TACLOBAN CITY-House Speaker Martin Romualdez hailed the signing into law of a measure that will condone debts of the country’s farmers.

President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., cousin of the Leyte solon, signed the New Agrarian Emancipation Act as contained under Republic Act (RA) 11953 last July 7.

“Through this law, it has eliminated the more than P57.56 billion in debt of 610,054 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) which paves the way for them to be finally awarded 1.173 million hectares of land,” Romualdez said in a statement.

“By helping our farmers, we are also helping their families and our consumers. Our freeing our farmers from indebtedness will lead to more harvest and income for our countrymen in the agricultural sector,” he added.

Meantime, the Task Force Mapalad (TFM), a nationwide federation of farmers and farm workers, also lauded Pres. Marcos for the signing of RA 11953.

“Napakaganda po nitong batas na ito kasi mababawasan ang pasanin ng mga magsasaka na naging benepesyaryo ng programan repormang agraryo. Mailalagay ang pera na pambayad sa amortisasyon ng lupa sa ibang pangangailangan ng pamilya,” said Teresita Tarlac, president of TFM Negros and a certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) holder in Hacienda San Luis, Barangay Purisima, Manapla, Negros Occidental.

While it welcomed the law’s passage, the group also urged the national government for a “strong commitment and real implementation to provide the necessary support services in order for the farmers to strengthen their hold on the awarded lands.”

“Without these support services, there will be less incentive for them to till the soil and make it productive. With the local government units taking over agricultural extension, farmers will have less support from technicians of the Department of Agriculture (DA) that the President himself leads,” TFM said.