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Save Agrarian Reform, Complete CARP Now, Effectively Implement CARPER!

Save Agrarian Reform, Complete CARP Now, Effectively Implement CARPER!

Jan 14, 2012

Save Agrarian Reform, Complete CARP, Now Effectively Implement CARPER! Declaration of Unity We, the undersigned men and women farmers and farmworkers, people's organizations, non-government organizations, advocates from the academe (and the Church) and the civil society in general, express our collective dismay over President Noynoy Aquino’s lack of interest over asset reform. After more than a year since he took office, P-Noy’s social reform agenda on asset reform remains undefined. When he was still running for the presidency, agrarian reform was among the major issues he raised, yet this program was never mentioned in his inaugural speech nor in the first and second State of the Nation Addresses. Building a social contract with the rural poor that is bereft of asset reform is meaningless. We were part of the social movement that called, pushed and cried for the extension and reform of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Based on the social contract as defined in the Constitution, CARPER or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms is the affirmation of our determination to complete asset reform which gives hope to millions of rural poor that aspire for economic betterment. But CARPER’s biggest challenge is the completion of the distribution and democratization of more than a million hectares of land to agrarian reform beneficiaries within barely three years. Unfortunately, the apparent lack of serious effort to end landlessness and inequity in the countryside and ultimately complete the agrarian reform program is worrying. The Department of Agrarian Reform’s performance has been slow and dismal to say the least. Under the leadership of Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes’, DAR only distributed 88,545 hectares out of the already lowered targets of 140,515 hectares for July to December 2010. Even more alarming are reports that the DAR will only distribute a maximum of 100,000 hectares, which is only 50% of the target for 2011. If this trend continues, only around 50% of the more or less one million hectares of lands covered under CARPER will be distributed. We have already said that the core of agrarian reform is the democratization of big tracts of private agricultural lands—which are the principal source of feudal exploitation. But, DAR’s dismal performance speaks volumes about the bureaucracy’s attitude towards CARPER—i.e., uninspired, unmotivated, and inefficient. Moreover, based on empirical data and field reports, there are clear indications that big agribusiness concerns are being prioritized while the landless and small farmers’ interests are being ignored. This is evident in government’s aggressive agricultural investment policy on agro-fuel and non-food crops.  Some of these land transactions have potentially led to the cancellation of farmers’ CLOAs in violation of their land rights. These deals even seem to be leading towards the re-concentration of land ownership. We are alarmed over Malacañang’s policy directive to scale down DAR’s operation towards the closure by 2014. This is contrary to public policy, the Constitution and the empowerment of the poor. The measly budget allocation confirms our suspicion of the government’s design to terminate agrarian reform program by 2014. We know from experience that the achievement of agrarian reform’s goals relies heavily on the annual budget allocated by Congress. The budget cut for agrarian reform in 2011 to fund other programs such as the conditional cash transfers belies P-Noy’s supposed commitment to CARPER. For the 2012 budget, DAR has submitted close to PhP 18 billion (PhP17.92 billion), which is far lower than the actual mandated budget of PhP30 billion per year. These budgetary cuts will probably lead to the early demise of agrarian reform. These challenges underscore the importance, urgency and necessity of seeing the completion of an agrarian reform program—one that secures land ownership for small farmers and provides adequate support services. When coupled with the right policy environment, agrarian reform can ensure food security and improve farmers’ lives. We call the attention of the government particularly DAR to effectively and efficiently implement the agrarian reform program to its final conclusion and pursue the “sprint to the line” policy instead of the “business as usual” policy. We believe that what will spell CARPER’s success is the President’s obligation to complete what the law has set forth to implement. The Save Agrarian Reform Alliance! will launch a nationwide campaign to push for the just and effective implementation of CARPER. Our demands: •    DAR should account for the more than one million hectares of LAD targets, and show the list of landholdings per area as soon as possible. We cannot overemphasize the importance of publicly disclosing data to speed up the distribution of private agricultural lands, especially in the top 20 provinces with the biggest backlog. •    Agrarian reform should not be implemented through a mere legalistic approach as it requires the support of rural social and mass movements. We demand a dialogue with the Secretary of Agrarian Reform and the Office of the President at the earliest possible time. •    We demand constant dialogue and direct participation in the implementation of CARPER. •    Allocate the maximum budget of P 150 B mandated by RA 9700. •    Full disclosure of DAR’s exit program. •    Full provision of integrated support services to new and existing agrarian reform beneficiaries. •    Full accountability of line implementors. Finally, we call on President Noynoy Aquino to ipamahagi na ang Hacienda Luisita sa mga lehitimong agrarian reform beneficiaries as a sign of his genuine interest in helping the rural poor.  It is well within his power to order DAR to redistribute land in the hacienda in the spirit and under the provisions of CARPER.  His social contract with the Filipino people calls for him to rise above his family’s interests and signal his seriousness that he is on the right path towards Matuwid na Daan and that the landless and small farmers are his true ‘bosses.’ Signatories: 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 Maraliten 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) Quezon Association for Rural Development and Democratization, Services (QUARDDS), Inc. Center for Rural Empowerment Services in Central Mindanao (CRESCENT), 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 Builders for Rural Empowerment and Human Rights advocates network, Inc.-(BRETHREN) 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) Panay Rural Organizing for Reform and Social Order (PROGRESO), Inc. Negros Oriental Center for People Empowerment and Development ( NOCPED) 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 Enterprises 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 PARAGOS-Pilipinas Pambansang Kaisahan ng mga Magbubukid sa Pilipinas PESANTE 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 Project Development Institute (PDI) RIGHTS, Inc. Individual Advocates Wilson Tiu, Philippines Employer-Labor Social Partner Inc.

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