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Economy News Philippines

Marcos Cancels Land Debt

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos has written off $1.04 billion in land-related debt owed by more than half a million farmers.

The “New Agrarian Emancipation Act” waives all property-related debt owed by farmers who had been given land on 30-year payment terms under a 1988 land reform program, but had been unable to pay.

“We know these farmers do not have the means to pay this huge debt. So putting it under the government’s tab is the right thing to do,” Marcos says.

Under a law passed about a year after Marcos’ father was toppled in a bloodless “People Power” revolt in 1986, about 4.8 million hectares of plots were distributed to almost three million landless farmers. The total was equivalent to 16% of the country’s land area.

Congress passed the new legislation because nearly 1.2 million hectares of redistributed farmland had gone unpaid, with the farm sector’s contribution to the country’s economic output shrinking.

Read the full article HERE.

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