DAR, LBP to go automated land amortization collection

QUEZON CITY-- Good news for agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). They will be spared from the tedious process of accomplishing payment slips for annual land amortization as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has gone high-tech, availing itself of the SIM-based wireless point of sale-type mobile automated collection system.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said the device works conveniently for the ARBs as they only need to hand to the field collectors of the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) their annual land amortization dues and they will be provided receipts right there and then.

Called the Portable Agrarian Reform Collection System (PARCS), it works like the fare ticketing system being employed by taxi operators, a big departure from the tedious process of accomplishing copies of payment slips.

The use of the automated device for land amortization collection was approved in the 135th meeting of Executive Committee of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) recently. It is awaiting final approval of the PARC, which, in turn, would endorse it to the DAR for funding before it will finally be implemented by the LBP.

LBP representative, lawyer Marife Pascua, describes PARCS as a mobile collection system that is a "full end-to-end solution to the land amortization collection," with a device attached to the LBP's Agrarian Reform Receivable System (ARRS) main frame where names of existing farmer beneficiaries are already uploaded for quick processing.

The device is deemed as the key to hasten collection of land amortization payments from farmer-beneficiaries.

A study commissioned by the DAR showed that from 1987 to 2004, estimated collectibles from land amortization payments reached as high as P14.3 billion, of which only P2.5 billion or 18 percent of the said amount had been collected.

Entitled: The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program: Scenarios and Options for Future Development, the study found out that collection of amortization payments has been constrained with high transaction costs. Administrative cost of setting up a system for collecting amortization payments from beneficiaries is said to be higher than the collectible amount.

With the device, Ms. Pascua said LBP field collectors can directly transact business with the farmer-beneficiaries, collect their land amortization payments and immediately issue corresponding receipts.

"The payment is immediately posted on real time to the LBP's ARRS," she said .

Aside from the receipt, Ms. Pascua added that a farmer-beneficiary, who made land amortization payment, would also receive a text message on the payment as the short message service (SMS) facility is integrated into the PARCS system.

Besides, she said, the system can also generate automatically a 'certificate of full payment' and a 'release of real estate mortgage' once the concerned farmer-beneficiary had already made full payment of his land amortization.

Moreover, Ms. Pascua said, the LBP intends to upgrade the PARCS as a micro-loan facility for farmer-beneficiaries and as an instrument for collection of real estate taxes, as well as, for savings and withdrawal transactions.

Source: Philippines Information Agency

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