Photo Release

February 8, 2023

Agriculture must not wait: Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, during Wednesday’s plenary session February 8, 2023, stresses the urgency to pass Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1850 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act. Dela Rosa said agriculture could not wait as farmers cannot postpone planting and harvesting their produce. “There is a reason why food remains a basic need, and there can be no delay in fulfilling this need,” the senator said. He noted that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or Republic Act No. 6657 was enacted to law in 1988 to uphold a just and equitable distribution of land to landless farmers, putting premium on their welfare. However, the lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will be paid for by them. The total is divided across thirty annual amortizations at an interest rate of six percent per annum. Apart from the daily expenses, the farmers also lose the payment for their land every time a typhoon destroys their crops. “A few months of hard work in taking care of the plant and spending on seeds and fertilizer seems like a bubble that disappears every time a typhoon comes to their farm. The payment for the land has disappeared, the expenses for their family have also disappeared. In many cases, our farmers are forced to borrow,” he said. “It is time for Congress, this Congress, to look at our farmers, feel their hardships, and resolve once and for all, that they do deserve better from their Senate. Agriculture, Mr. President, is urgent. And it must not be made to wait,” he added. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)