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Philippine farmers group hits DAR’s performance

Business Mirror, June 17, 2014

by Jonathan Mayuga

FARMERS and agrarian- reform advocates on Tuesday expressed doubt that the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) can even meet a 50,000-hectare land-distribution target two weeks before June 30, the expiration of the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) component of Republic Act 9700, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reform (CARPer).

Alberto Jayme, president of Task Force Mapalad (TFM), said the DAR’s target for the last two weeks of CARP is way below the nationwide balance of landholdings that have not yet been officially placed under the program.

TFM farmers fear that upon the expiration of the land acquisition and distribution component of CARPer, landholdings not officially placed under the program would be indefinitely “frozen” insisting that there is no enabling law that would allow the DAR to continue acquiring the landholdings and distributing them to thousands of landless tillers. Read more


Phil President moves to extend CARP for 2 more years; farmers praise President’s action
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines – A day after the 26th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program that was started by the administration of his mother, President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday, June 11, certified as urgent the bill extending CARP until 2016, Malacanang announced Wednesday.

With still more than half a million hectares of mostly big private agricultural landholdings that have not yet been distributed to thousands of landless tillers, Aquino gave his commitment to farmers to finish CARP before he steps down, a promise he had made during his 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The President reached the decision after a two-hour meeting in Malacanang on June 10 with the following farmers and leaders of peasant organizations: Arnel Figueroa of the group Pesante, Dorita Vargas of Hacienda Canticbil-Manalo in Negros Occidental, Armando Jarilla of Task Force Mapalad, Organi Biong of Bitangan Estate, Rene Cerilla of Pakisama, and Maribel Luzara of Kilusang Magbubukid sa Bundok Peninsula.

Aquino made his commitment less than three weeks before the law extending CARP for five more years expires at the end of the month and also on the last session day of Congress on Wednesday, June 11, before it adjourns sine die from June 14 to July 27, 2014.  Read More