UP scientist: ‘Carp has to end’

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Friday, March 28, 2014


A SCIENTIST from the University of the Philippines reiterated Friday his stand of putting an end to the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

The Carp Extension with Reforms (Carper), which is a five-year extension of the two-decade land reform program, will end in June this year.

National scientist Raul Fabella, of University of the Philippines School of Economics, said that majority of the members of the Senate shows support to end Carp.

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Fabella was the guest speaker in a forum on Carp at 9 a.m. Friday, at the Capitol Social Hall in Bacolod City.

Fabella said: “It was thoroughly reviewed and the numbers don't look good for Carp at all. It led to poverty,” said Fabella, citing a survey showing that among agrarian reform communities, 54 percent of households fell below the poverty line.

Data from 2009 FIES (or the Family Income and Expenditure Survey) showed that 35 percent of farmers fell below the poverty line.

He said the agrarian reform farmer-beneficiaries had become poorer.

"It should have been ended in 2009. At that time, we have been agitating that the 20-year-old Carp should have ended, but we lost during that time,” he said.

He said, this time, the agitation for the ending of Carp has expanded.

“Businessmen now are coming out in favor of no extension. We can expect some quarters to push for the extension as it is their livelihood but the signals from the Senate is very favorable for no extension," Fabella said.

“Carp has effectively chased away private capital from agriculture with the five-hectare ownership limit. So (if Carp ends) corporations like San Miguel, Gokongwei can now own larger tracts of lands," he added.

Fabella said he believes the program failed, because of bad design and no amount of money can save it, adding that more money is just a prescription for permanent failure.

The event was organized by the Negros Press Club, Council of Past Presidents of the Negros Press Club, and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas-Negros Occidental Chapter.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on March 28, 2014.

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