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House Committee fast-tracks approval of 6 agrarian welfare bills

The DAR officials were led by Secretary Conrado Estrella III (in barong Tagalog) and the committee on agrarian reform was led by Rep. Solomon Chungalao (in blue suit).

QUEZON CITY—Members of the House Committee on Agrarian Reform recently met to fast-track the passage of six (6) House Bills (HB) approved in the 18th congress.

Included among the agrarian welfare bills discussed is the full crop insurance coverage to qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) authored by Deputy Speakers Ralph Recto and Kristine Singson-Meehan through HB 3178 and HB 3839.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado Estrella III said that the DAR will provide safety nets against losses to adverse weather conditions, as he thanked the lawmakers for the bills they have authored for the benefit and welfare of the farmers.

“I thank all of you for making the effort and finding ways to uplift the economic lives of the farmers. It is so wonderful to know that all the bills authored coincide with the President’s goal of unburdening the farmers of financial problems and getting them out of extreme poverty. With all of you on our side, and working together, this endeavor is not impossible,” Estrella said.

Also included in the discussion is a bill that will restructure and condone unpaid interests, penalties, and surcharges on loans secured by farmers, fisherfolks, and ARBs from the DAR, Department of Agriculture (DA), People’s Credit and Finance Corporation, Cooperative Development Authority, National Food Authority, and Quedan and Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation authored by Rep. Felimon Espares under HB 1879.

A bill that will look into the conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses, including a review of its existing policies and procedures on the preservation of agricultural lands is being pursued under HB 272 penned by Rep. Luis Raymund ‘LRay’ Villafuerte Jr. and HB 2076 by Rep. Jaime Cojuangco under HB 2076.

The transfer of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office of Lanao del Norte from Iligan City to the Municipality of Tubod, Lanao del Norte is being pushed as authored by Rep. Mohamad Khalid Dimaporo under HB 1863.

Estrella said the department will work with Rep. Dimaporo to speed up the relocation of the DAR provincial office.

“We will help you in this undertaking and we will see to it that government service will continue and will not be hampered by the relocation,” Estrella said.

The meeting was attended by key farmer’s welfare advocates in the House led by Ifugao Representative Solomon Chungalao, chairman of the house committee on agrarian reform, and its members Representatives Edsel Lagman, Arnolfo Teves, Angelo Marcos-Barba, Arlene Brosas, Jaime Cojuangco, Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo, Camille Villar, Felimon Espares, Ralph Recto, Geraldine Roman, and Wilbert Lee. (DAR) 

DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III conferring with Ifugao Rep. Solomon Chungalao, chairman of the house committee on agrarian reform.

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