Farmers protest vs Carper-A A +A
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
MORE than a hundred farmers trooped Tuesday to the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Macanhan, Carmen in Cagayan de Oro as they urged the agency to scrap the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper).
The protest rally started in a mobile “recorida” participated by 70 farmers from Bukidnon, 40 farmers from the west district of Misamis Oriental (Initao district) and 20 from the east district (Lagonglong and Salay district).
Richard Colao, secretary general of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP-NMR), said in a statement that the one-day protest was simultaneously done nationwide in time for the 3rd Carper anniversary.
Carper or Republic Act 9700 is on its third year since former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed it on August 7, 2009.
The famers challenged the Aquino government to pass the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (Garb) as the first step in delivering social justice for farmers.
Representative Refael Mariano of Anakpawis said in a statement that Carp and its extension program CARPer legally allowed landlord families to keep their estates and haciendas for more than two decades already.
In a report, Mariano said majority of the 249,369 hectares distributed from July 2010 to June 2012 under Aquino’s reign are either public lands or ‘easy acquisitions.’
“A big portion of the total agricultural lands are still in the hands of landlords and private corporations,” he said.
Based on DAR’s remaining balance for Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) target, 94 percent or 900,188 hectares are privately owned agricultural lands. Out of this, only 62 percent will be covered under Compulsory Acquisition and 85 percent or 816,491 hectares will be paid by the government through just compensation. (Abigail Chee Kee Malalis)
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 09, 2012.