Manila—Some 100 farmer members of the Save Agrarian Reform Alliance (SARA) yesterday called on President Aquino to fast track implementation of CARPer (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms) passed in 2010. “We are extremely inflamed that all movements seen from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials and their staff on the ground tell us that they are terrifyingly delayed from fulfilling their land distribution target of 1.06 hectares to more than 500,000 million farmer beneficiaries,” Jaime Tadeo of PARAGOS and lead member of SARA announced.
The Focus on the Global South – Philippines Programme said that DAR was only able to distribute 86,209 hectares in 2011, which is only 43 percent of its target of 200,000 hectares of land. This is a measly 8 percent of the total balance of 1.06 million hectares up for land distribution. In 2010, DAR distributed 88,545 hectares
Based on the recently-concluded Luzon consultations of SARA, the Land acquisition and distribution (LAD) backlog from SARA areas comprise of a total of 57,836.779 hectares or 39 percent of the total LAD balance for Luzon. Total LAD balance for Luzon based on DAR data is 149,133 hectares. The said SARA landholdings undergoing CARP process have 9 National People’s organizations which are members of SARA. The landholdings have 46 pending petitions from landowners in 13 provinces from 3 regions in Luzon.
SARA, a network of national farmers’ organizations, rural women, NGOs and agrarian reform beneficiaries met last 27 and 28th March for a Luzon Conference to unite on moves to push DAR to complete land distribution under CARPer. CARP has so far been the only asset reform and redistributive poverty alleviation programme since 1986 under the Cory Aquino Administration. CARP was envisioned as a very urgent and important program to distribute land to the tillers to uplift their lives and a central social justice program of the Cory Aquino administration.
CARPer legally extended distribution or completion of mostly private agricultural lands (PALs) owned by big landlords in top 20 provinces including Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental and Oriental and Mindanao areas. It was appropriated with a funding of PHp 30 Billion per year until 2014 which has not been fully utilized by the DAR.
With barely 27 months to complete the land distribution processes, SARA believes that DAR is no longer seriously pursuing a track of completing CARP but letting it die a natural death. Reports that the municipal and provincial agrarian reform officers are no longer actively engaged in prioritizing contentious landholdings that include Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Matias and other big properties are experienced by SARA agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“In Luzon, most of the landholdings that were transferred under CARP have pending petitions for reversals, non-coverage, exemptions and land use conversion by former landholdings. What will happen to these cases amidst a burgeoning task to distribute more lands? ” Joann Fernandez of Katarungan said.
DAR Department Order no. 7 (AO 7) series of 2011 regulates or limits the scope of land to be distributed under CARPer. AO 7 disallows the transfer of land titles to the Republic of the Philippines which have pending cases from resistant landowners that include petitions for exclusions and exemption of the landholdings from CARP. Further AO 7 does not allow the processing of coverage of lands that do not have a complete masterlist of agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Fernandez cited that the 1,716 hectare Hacienda Matias in Bondoc Peninsula was stricken out of the LAD target due to AO 7.
SARA is also alarmed over Malacañang’s policy directive to scale down DAR’s operation towards its closure by 2014 as it created inertia among the local DAR officials.
A bill to combine the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), DAR and DA (Department of Agriculture) has already been filed in Congress last week. “ Coupled with the measly budget allocation, this confirms our suspicion of the government’s design to terminate agrarian reform program by 2014. SARA knows from experience that the achievement of agrarian reform’s goals relies heavily on the annual budget allocated by Congress,” Ka Trinidad Domingo of the Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, a national coalition of rural women organizations, said.
For 2012, DAR has requested a budget of only Php 18 billion out of the mandated Php 30 billion per year budget allocated by Congress. Only Php 2.5 Billion is earmarked for compensable land which can only pay for 30,000-40,000 hectares of land, far below the 240, 247 hectares of land target for 2012 alone, the Focus on the Global South Paper stated.
SARA calls on the Department of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to account for the approved and released monies for the completion of CARPer. They are questioning his unilateral decision to cut the 2011 budget for support services for agrarian reform beneficiaries.
SARA calls on DAR to prioritize the distribution of big landholdings in the top 20 provinces namely Negros Occidental, Camarines Sur, Masbate, North Cotabato, Leyte, Maguindanao, Isabela, South Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao Del Norte, Northern Bukidnon, Albay, Sultan Kudarat and Agusan del Sur.
SARA challenges DAR Secretary Gil de los Reyes, whom SARA had openly endorsed for the position, to discuss its major plan to complete the CARPer backlog. SARA urgently compels him to transparently admit if his department is capable of completing its mandate by 2014 or not.
SARA also calls on the President to finally distribute Hacienda Luisita as this would be his litmus test in his sincerity for redistributive and social justice in this country. “ He should not make a mockery of her mother’s social justice legacy which is CARP,” Tadeo concluded.
SARA will be conducting nationwide activities to push DAR and the Aquino administration to fulfil its mandate of distributing lands and pursuing genuine support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries. -30-
SAVE AGRARIAN REFORM ALLIANCE
SARA is composed of the following: Farmers’ and peoples’ organizations: Alyansa Maglulubi ng Mindanao; Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura; Bukluran ng mga Katutubo sa Luzon (BUKAL): Pinag-isang Lakas ng mga Katutubong Ayta sa Matalangao at Ulingan, Samahang ng mga Kababaihang Ayta sa Biaan, SKA-Kinaragan, Nagkakaisang Kababaihan ng Terejano at Pag-asa, Samahang Kabataan ng Kinaragan, Pagkakaisa ng mga Kababaigang Ayta ng Botolan, Samahang Magtatambalang ng Sitio Marupo, Borac Farmers Association, SA3KSIMA, Minanga Farmers Association, Samahang Magsasaka ng Turda, Samahang Bagong Silang ng Brgy. Buenavista, Samahang Kababaihan sa Marupo, Samahang ng Katutubong Kababaihan sa Maralite, Samahang Kababaihan sa Turda, Samahang Kababaihan sa Payapat Turda Fisherfolk Association; Coconut Farmers of Southern Leyte; DAMMBA; Highlander Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HARBEMCO); Kilusan Para sa Repormang Agraryo at Katarungang Panlipunan (KATARUNGAN): Farmworkers Agrarian Reform Movement of Hacienda Luisita (FARM), Inc., Pagtingog sang Mag-uuma kag Mamumugon sa Kaumhan (PASAMAKA), Mag-uumang Naga-hiusa Alang sa Kalambuan (MANAA KA), KATARUNGAN-Negros Occidental, CREDO Savings and Agrarian Reform Cooperatives, Samahan ng Magsasaka sa Maliwalo, Tarlac, BOLUNTARYO-Katarungan-Tarlac, Mindanao, Aniban ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Hacienda Dolores (ANIBAN) -katarungan Pampanga, Mag-uumang Nagkahiusag Alang sa Kalambuan sa Negros Oriental (MANAAKA) – Katarungan Negros Oriental, Pagtingob sang mangunguma kag mamumugon sa kaumhan (PASAMAKA)- katarungan Iloilo, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Bondoc Peninsula (KMBP) –Quezon, Ugnayan ng mga Magsasaka sa Gitnang Quezon (UGNAYAN), North Cotabato Autonomous Peasant Alliance (NC-APO), Pamdevco Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (PARBAI), Lower Saguing Farmers Association (LSFA), Arava Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (AARBAI), Ledesma CARP beneficiaries, Association, Inc. (LCBAI), Gemora Employess Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (GEARBAI), Bongolanon Farmers Association (BFA), Laus Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (LEARBAI), USM Reservation Settlers Association (USMRSA), Lepiten Farmers Association (LFA), Mendoza Employees Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, Inc. (MEARBAI), Sikitan Katipunan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (SKARBAI), Sibawan Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (SARBA), Christian Settlers Association (CFA), Kinudal Employess Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (KEARBAI), Domar Tappers Farmers Association (DTFA), Sitio Igsoro Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (SIARBA), New Bugasong Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (NEBARBA), Dalapitan Agrarian Reform Benficiaries Association, Inc. (DARBAI), Lambayao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (LARBAI), Manupal Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (MARBA), Mindanao Pioneers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Inc., Hugpoung sa organisadong katawhan sa Davao Oriental, Alliance for Human, Environment and Agricultural Development Agrarian Reform Cooperatives United Small Coconut Farmers in Southern Mindanao, Mag-uumang Nagkahiusa Alang sa Kalambuan sa Negros Oriental (MANAAKA) Polo Plantation ARBs Multi-purpose Cooperative (POPARMUCO), Sta. Cruz Nuevo Consumers Cooperative 9SNCC), San Miguel CLOA Holders Association-Tanjay, Jantianon ARBSs Multi-purpose Cooperatives-Amlan Manlipac Coconut Community Farmers Association; MAKABAYAN Pilipinas; Mindanao Farmers’ Rural Congress, Moro Farmers’ Association of Zamboanga Zur (Sibugay), Nagkakaisang Magsasaka ng Gitnang Luzon (NMGL): Casa Real Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Buklod ng Kaunlaran PMPC Nauzon Upland Peasant People’s Organization, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahang Magsasaka ng Botolan, Samahang Magsasaka ng Togue Taltal, Samahang Maghahalaman ng San Juan, Nagkakaisang Kababaihang Ayta ng Pinatubo, Samahang Magsasaka ng Kaybanban Cooperative, Barangay Anunas Farmers Association, Margot Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative, PASAMAKA-Ayala; Negros Farmers’ Council: Panaghugpong sa mga CLOA ARBs sa Cesar Perez Landholding, Alyansa sa ARBs sa Telesforo Labang, Alyansa sa ARB Claimants sa 606 Ektaryas sa Trinidad Valley and Realty Dev’t. Corp., Panaghugpong sa mga ARBs sa 204 Ektarya Vicente Lopez Landholding, Negros del Norte Agricultural Workers and Community MPC, Panaghiusa sa mga ARB Claimants sa Pedro Sumugod Landholding, Alyansa sa mga ARBs sa 320 Ektaryas nga Kayutaan sa Sugar Farms, Inc., DOTAMCO (Domolog Tagaytay MPC), Alyansa sa Nagkahiusang Kabatan-onan para sa Repormang Agraryo ug Likas Kayang Pagpanguma (ANAK), BANIKA (Nagkahiusang Inahan ug Kababayen-an alang sa Repormang Agraryo ug Mauswagong Agrikultura), Negros Farmlands, Panaghugpong sa mga ARBs ug Farmworker Claimants sa Diaz Hermanos, Kahugpungan sa mga CLOA ARBs sa 223 Ektaryas sa Diaz Hermanos Enterprisesl, Alyansa sa ARB Claimants sa 169 ektaryas JLT Agro, Inc. Landholdings, Negros Farmers Council Mabinay Cluster 1 CARPable landholdings, BANIKA Mabinay Cluster 2 CARPable landholdings, Panaghugpong sa ARBs sa 100 ektaryas Tirambulo landholdings, Alyansa sa ARBs ug Farmworkers sa Catalino Noel, Panaghugpong sa mga Rice Farmer ARB Claimants sa Don Gaspar Vicente landholding, Kahugpungan sa mga CLOA ARBs sa 41 Ektaryang Catalino Noel landholding sa Calipawan, Nangka; Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahang Magsasakang Kababaihan ng Luzon (PASAMAKA-L): Doña Josefa Women’s Association, San Joseph Women’s Association, Pintol Women’s Association, Manganese Women’s Association, San Isidro Women’s Association, Nauzon Women’s Association, Sagana Mothers Club, Samahang Kababaihan ng Amungan, Samahang Katutubo ng Masikap Kababaihan, Samahang Kababaihan ng Kabisig, Kapatirang Kapitbahay ng Kaybanban, PASAMAKA-Sto. Rosario, Samahang Kababaihan sa Marupo, Samahang ng Katutubong Kababaihan sa Maraliten, Samahang Kababaihan sa Turda, Samahang Kababaihan sa Payapat; Pambansang Koalisyon ng mga Kababaihan sa Kanayunan: PKKK- Bulacan, PKKK- Pampanga , PKKK-Aurora, PKKK-Nueva Ecija/ NEWLAC (Nueva Ecija Women Leader’s Coalition), PKKK-Tarlac, PKKK-Zambales, PKKK-Bataan, PKKK-Isabela, PKKK-Pangasinan, PKKK-La Union, PKKK-Laguna, PKKK-Batangas, PKKK-Quezon, PKKK-Cavite, PKKK-Camarines Norte, PKKK-Camarines Sur, PKKK-Albay, PKKK-Sorsogon, PKKK-Aklan, PKKK-Antique, PKKK-Iloilo, PKKK-Negros Occidental, PKKK-Negros Oriental, PKKK-Bohol, PKKK-Northern Samar, PKKK-Samar, PKKK-Eastern Samar, PKKK-Leyte, PKKK-Southern Leyte, PKKK-Biliran, PKKK-Zamboanga Sur, PKKK-Zamboanga Sibugay, PKKK-Misamis Occidental, PKKK-Misamis Oriental, PKKK-Bukidnon/ AURWIB (Alliance of Urban and Rural Women in Bukidnon), PKKK-Davao Oriental, PKKK-South Cotabato, PKKK-Agusan del Sur, PKKK-Maguindanao, PKKK-Compostela Valley; PARAGOS-Pilipinas; Pambansang Kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas; PKMM; Samahang 53 Ektarya sa Macabud Surigao Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives; Sugar Workers Alliance of Negros; Sta. Maria Development Cooperative (SMDC); Taguibo Farmers’ Cooperative (TAFARMCO); Non-governmental Organizations: Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao, Centro Saka, Inc., Focus on the Global South, FoodFirst Information and Action Network-Philippines, Project Development Institute (PDI), and RIGHTS, Inc.; Quezon Association for Rural Development and Democratization, Services (QUARDDS), Inc., Center for Rural Empowerment Services in Central Mindanao (CRESCENT), Panay Rural Organizing for Reform and Social Order (PROGRESO), Inc., Negros Oriental Center for People Empowerment and Development ( NOCPED), CREDO, Builders for Rural Empowerment and Human Rights Advocates Network, Inc. (BRETHREN) ; Individual Advocates: Wilson Tiu, Philippines Employer-Labor Social Partner Inc.