A MILITANT lawmaker on Tuesday opposed moves to further extend the 26-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), saying it is being used by powerful landlords as a tool for deception.
Bayan Muna Party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said that CARP could be compared to a "dead horse that has to be buried so that a new and genuine agrarian reform law may emerge from its demise."
Colmenares said the long-term solution to the country's food security woes and the impact of the reported worst El Niño that would hit the country in 17 years is to immediately enact and implement the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) or House Bill 252.
"The government needs to build a strong agricultural base that would start from planting to post-harvest facilities as well as a rehabilitated irrigation system," said Colmenares.
He said that up until today, seven out of 10 farmers do not own the land that they till. In some regions like Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon, the figure is 8 out of 10.
He said the GARB being a complete agrarian reform program with basis for agricultural planning, will address the food security problems of the country.
"The CARP has done nothing to alleviate these problems and it would be for the country's interest that any efforts to extend any of its provisions be shot down. How can we ever have food security and have a comprehensive plan for disaster mitigation when vast tracks of land are owned by a few under the CARP? It high time that CARP is junked and replaced by GARB," the House senior deputy minority leader said.
Militant farmers from the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) on Tuesday afternoon stormed the lobby of the House of Representatives in Quezon City to protest the failure of CARP.
No violent incident happened during the protest as the farmers peacefully dispersed the less than 10 minutes. (Sunnex)