SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
21 September 2023 07:00:40 PM
The House of Representatives on Thursday, tackled and terminated the deliberation on the P9.39-billion proposed 2024 budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
The agency's budget next year is anchored on its major programs, such as the Land Tenure Security Program, with allocated funding of P3.50-billion; Agrarian Justice Delivery Program, with a total allotment of P893-million and the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program for P1.67-billion.
Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairperson and Ilocos Sur Rep. Ronald Singson said that correct utilization and adequate funding are crucial in attaining food security and poverty alleviation, the two important national goals of the Marcos Administration. Appropriations Committee Vice-Chairperson and Aklan Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr., who sponsored the agency’s budget proposal, stated that the President already signed Executive Order (EO) 40, which extends the debt condonation to additional Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs). According to Rep. Haresco, EO 40 was realized through the efforts of former legislator, now DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III. The EO extends the debt moratorium to ARBs to two years.
Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., who supported the augmentation of the proposed 2024 budget of the DAR, inquired about the agency’s other programs to improve loan repayment rates and the financial sustainability of the ARBs. Rep. Haresco answered that the DAR already has a program in place that would support the plight of the farmers. DAR’s budget was reduced from the current 2023 budget of P15-billion.
Northern Samar Rep. Paul Ruiz Daza also requested Rep. Haresco to engage with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) to expedite the approval of DAR's foreign-assisted bridge projects nationwide.