Press Release
July 9, 2023

Bong Go lauds PBBM for signing New Agrarian Emancipation Act

Senator Christopher "Bong" Go commended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for signing into law Republic Act No. 11953 on Friday, July 7, as it will help alleviate the debt burdens of over 600,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries nationwide.

Go, who is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, co-sponsored and co-authored Senate Bill No. 1850-the Senate version of RA 11953, also known as the New Agrarian Emancipation Act.

"This is a historic day for our agrarian reform beneficiaries and a major leap forward for our agricultural sector," Go said.

"This new law will help ensure the stability of our food supply by empowering our local farmers," he added.

The law condones all loans incurred by agrarian reform beneficiaries, including interests, penalties and surcharges.

Currently, up to 610,054 ARBs owe the Land Bank of the Philippines a total of P57.56 billion in loans. This covers 1,173,101.575 hectares of agrarian reform lands.

Go previously underscored the necessity of condoning agrarian reform-related debts. He also pushed for the provision of a better support mechanism for the country's agricultural workers.

"Forgiving their debts is just one aspect of the solution," Go said.

"We are not saying that our food supply will be secure simply because their loans have been written off. They need further support from the government, more agricultural input to make them more competitive," he added.

Go is an advocate of providing better conditions for Filipino farmers. He emphasized their crucial role in maintaining the country's food supply and reducing dependency on imports.

"These farmers are the backbone of our food security," Go said.

"Our government should focus on supporting our small-scale farmers because they are the ones who make our food supply possible. It's not only about us not needing to import from other countries. It's about recognizing and supporting our local farmers and agrarian reform beneficiaries," Go added.

The New Agrarian Emancipation Act is expected to significantly contribute to the country's agricultural competitiveness and stability, as it provides much-needed relief and support to ARBs. Go said this measure is part of a broader effort to revitalize the country's agricultural sector and uplift the lives of Filipino farmers.

"We have a long road ahead, but with measures like the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, we are steadily moving towards a more prosperous and resilient agricultural sector," he said.

Aside from the newly signed measure, Go is also one of the authors of the measure that became RA 11901, expanding the agriculture, fisheries, and rural development financing system.

He has also been advocating for other programs to support farmers and fisherfolks in the country, such as the enhancement of the irrigation of farmlands and expansion of the National Rice Program. Go likewise backed proposals to convert idle government lands into agricultural areas to boost food production in the country.

Go previously expressed his support for Marcos's directive on the conduct of a thorough investigation into the alleged onion cartel as well as the smuggling and hoarding of agricultural products.

On July 7, Go expressed his support for the distribution of Certificate of Land Ownership Award to ARBs in the Davao Region held in Davao City. His team likewise distributed additional assistance to the beneficiaries.

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