THE Provincial Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (Parad) will hold a hearing Monday, January 23, on the complaint for illegal occupation filed by the ECJ Farmworkers Agrarian Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Efarbemco) against a breakaway group.

Efarbemco chairman Edgar de la Rama said the illegal occupation of some farms by the ECJ CLOA Holders Association (ECJCHA) is hampering their operations.

The ECJCHA wants to withdraw from the land reform program in the farms and distribute the lands to them individually, he added.

De la Rama said that in August last year, the Parad already issued a status quo ante order directing all parties to desist from disrupting the operations of the farms.

The break-away group continues to pitch tents in several farms, preventing workers from working in them, he further said.

He pointed out that since the lands were turned over to the cooperative under a collective certificate of land ownership award, it would be impossible to cut it up for distribution to individuals.

De la Rama said that instead, the cooperative is willing to pay out the monetary equivalent of the shares of the withdrawing members upon approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Cooperative Development Authority.

Since the joint venture agreement has been approved by the DAR, the only recourse for members who no longer favor the joint venture is to withdraw from the cooperative, he added.

The lands were put up by Efarbemco when it went into a joint venture with the Cojuangco companies that used to own them. The joint venture company, Southern Negros Joint Venture Corporation, now manages the farm.

The Cojuangco companies invested money, equipment, machineries and technology while Efarbemco, composed of 1,756 farm worker-beneficiaries, invested the lands, spanning 4,654 hectares, De la Rama added.