MANILA - The World Bank is lending the Philippines $370-million or around P18.3 billion for a project that aims to speed up the country’s program to redistribute land to farmers, the Department of Finance said on Monday.
The DOF said the loan will be used to hasten the splitting of about 1.4 million hectares of land covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and then providing individual titles to these parcelized lots to some 750,000 farmer-beneficiaries.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Mr. Achim Fock, who was then the World Bank’s Acting Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, signed the loan agreement last July 14, the DOF said in a statement.
Dominguez said the project will enable farmers to access credit and government assistance.
“It will support our economic recovery program by intensifying assistance to farmers and making agrarian reform beneficiaries more resilient to the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dominguez said.
Under the project, the collective certificate of land ownership awards (CCLOA) will be parcelized into individual titles for some 750,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries, the DOF said.
While the government has already redistributed about 4.8 million hectares of land to some 2.8 million farmers, only 53 percent were in the form of individual land titles, with the remaining 47 percent or about 2.5 million hectares are CCLOAs.
The DOF said giving farmers individual land titles “will allow them to mortgage their land, sell, or pass it on to their family members through inheritance.”
The loan carries a 29-year maturity period, inclusive of a grace period of 10-and-a-half years, the DOF said.