Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Presentation of the Implementing Rules and Regularations (IRR) of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act (R.A. No. 11953)
Thank you very much, Executive Secretary, Secretary Luc Bersamin. [Please take your seats.]
The House Speaker, House Speaker Martin Romualdez and the members of the House of Representatives that are here today. Mas marami yatang congressman dito kaysa doon sa Batasan. Well, I don’t blame you. This is a very important day.
Secretary Antonio Lagdameo and other members of the Cabinet; Senator Cynthia Villar, ang ating partner sa agricultural development; Senator Imee Marcos na mula pa sa umpisa ay siya na ipinaglalaban na niya itong moratorium at condonation ng mga utang ng ating mga agrarian reform beneficiaries; ating mga kasamahan sa pamahalaan; distinguished guests; mga minamahal kong kababayan, magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.
It is with immense pride that I join you today for the Presentation of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, also known as the Republic Act No. 11953.
As we stand on the cusp of agricultural development, I convey my utmost gratitude to our farmers and our agrarian reform beneficiaries for continuing to ensure the accessibility and affordability of our agricultural commodities.
Napakahalaga ang inyong ginagampanan na maitiyak na ang Pilipinas ay may sapat na pagkain, may sapat ng lahat ng produktong agrikultura, at nagbibigay ng pagkakataon hindi lamang sa sektor ng agrikultura kung hindi po lahat ng bahagi ng lipunan. Ito po ang nagiging — tinatawag na multiplier effect ng ginagawa ng ating mga nagsasaka.
It is only fitting that we recognize you as pillars of this crucial sector whose impact creates positive ripples of transformation within our communities that reverberate not only for us here in the present but across future generations.
This government will continue to strive to empower farmers as well as to respond to their needs so that we can effectively fulfill our roles and help them fulfill their roles for our people and our economy.
To achieve this, we have collaborated with experts, we have strengthened our supply chains, and pushed for the enactment of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act.
I therefore acknowledge the efforts of the Department of Agrarian Reform and other implementing agencies for supporting our endeavor to help our producers lead more dignified lives and attain food security for our people.
I hope that – maybe people do not quite realize what it means to me, what it means to Secretary Conrado Estrella to continue the work ng kanyang lolo, ipagpatuloy ang trabaho ng kanyang lolo na kasama ang aking ama na sinimulan ang Agrarian Reform Program dito sa Pilipinas. Kaya naman po noong ako’y nakaupo hindi ako nagdalawang-isip at sinabi ko, tinawag ko kaagad si Sec. Conrad at ika ko sa kanya, “marami pa tayong kailangang gawin. Maraming hindi natapos doon sa ating mga ninuno kaya’t kailangan tayo ang magtatapos dahil binigyan tayo ng pagkakataon.”
Kaya dapat ito ay pakinabangan natin itong pagkakataon na ibinigay sa atin na tulungan ang ating agrarian reform beneficiaries at ipagpatuloy ang agrarian reform movement dito sa Pilipinas. [applause]
Kasama rin diyan ang ating mga kasamahan ang ating mga legislator na galing sa House at galing sa Senado.
Both legislative branches were there to heed the call for social justice for our farmers by speedily enacting the NAEA.
This law condones all unpaid amortizations, including the principal debt, interests, and surcharges for more than 600,000 reform beneficiaries that have been awarded lands under various agrarian reform laws.
Lahat ng kaso na may kasamang disqualification ng agrarian reform beneficiary or forfeiture ng agrarian reform award dahil sa hindi makapagbayad ay ngayon ay na-dismiss na. We reinstate the cancelled emancipation patent, the certificate of land ownership award, or titles to our beneficiaries.
The law enjoins the DAR to continue providing support services to all agrarian reform beneficiaries, such as the provision of extension services, credit, financing, and rural infrastructure.
I call on everyone to support and take part in the implementation of this landmark legislation. The need for a whole-of-nation approach is vital to achieve its goals and secure food production in the future.
So, I urge the Department of Agrarian Reform, with all government agencies, to strive for a smooth and immediate execution of this IRR so that our beneficiaries may be freed from the burden of debts and reap the benefits from the lands that they tirelessly cultivate.
Continue to facilitate the delivery of support services to all ARBs and make them your foremost priority in all our development efforts.
I call upon the beneficiaries to utilize your lands not only to cater to your families, but also for the rest of the nation.
I have also signed just now Executive Order (EO) for the two-year extension of EO No. 4, s. 2023, [applause] dahil mayroong mga ibang beneficiary ay hindi na-cover-an nung pagpasok ng IRR at saka ng moratorium na ginawa natin sa original na EO. Kaya’t sila naman ay – sila ay qualified sa ilalim ng pagpatuloy ng moratorium ng EO No. 4.
This provides for the moratorium on the payment of the principal obligation and interest on amortization payable by the agrarian reform beneficiary, to include even those who were not covered by the New Emancipation Law.
As we chart a path towards a more self-sufficient and equitable Philippines, this administration reaffirms its commitment to enrich the lives of our farmers, ensure the rapid industrialization of our farmlands, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth in our countryside.
Let us all work towards a more progressive, sustainable, and resilient future. This will enable us and the agrarian reform beneficiaries and the rest of our farmers to realize the utmost potential and reach for our aspirations for our families, for our communities, and for our country.
And let me add, bago po ako magtapos ay magpapasalamat ako sa inyong lahat, lalong-lalo na sa mga staff at sa mga empleyado ng Department of Agrarian Reform. [applause] Alam ko hindi naman nangyari ito – hindi nangyari ito kung hindi sa inyong sipag at kadunungan na maibuo itong IRR na ito.
At ako’y nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat, sa lahat ng kasama natin upang mabuo natin ang IRR ng New Emancipation Law. At on a personal note, nagpapasalamat ako – ito na yata ang pinakamagandang birthday gift na natanggap ko sa buong buhay ko.
Maraming salamat! [applause]
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