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PIA Press Release

Eastern Visayas holds Bishops-Legislators Forum to tackle future of CARP

Tacloban City (August 29) -- The Archdiocese of Palo is scheduled to host the Eastern Visayas Bishops-Legislators Forum on September 5, 2008 from 7:00 o’clock in the morning to 12:00 o’clock noontime, at the Archdiocesan Chancery and Pastoral Center, Palo, Leyte, with no less than His Excellency the Archbishop of Palo Jose S. Palma as the lead convenor.

The Forum aims to solicit the commitment of the legislators in Eastern Visayas to fully support the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and to provide an opportunity for stakeholders and legislators to articulate other urgent legislative proposals which would necessitate the expeditious passage of House Bill No. 4077.

In his communication, His Excellency Archbishop Palma said that one of the contentious issues confronting the country today as discussed in the recently convened National Rural Congress is the future of CARP and the funding requirement needed for its extension.

This issue has elicited diverse reactions from various sectors, Archbishop Palma said.

On August 14, members of civil society groups and major stakeholders had a preliminary discussion on the future of CARP in the residence of Archbishop Palma and the group, after a brief reflection on the issue, agreed to hold the Forum.

Last year, on August 17 to be exact, a Legislators’ Forum on CARP aimed at winning the support of the legislators in passing a new bill that would extend for another ten years the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which by law will end in December this year, was held at the Kanhuraw Convention Center.

Of the twelve solons from Eastern Visayas, four were personally present while another five were represented. The general sentiment of the legislators present is to support the proposal for the sake of the CARP beneficiaries and in order to sustain the gains of the program in countryside development.

The extension of the CARP program is the clamor of the farmers from all over the region who are the beneficiaries of the program. This sentiment was contained in the 334 resolutions and manifestos of support sent last year, by the various CARP stakeholders all over the region, to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and to Senate President Manuel Villar and then Speaker Jose de Venecia. (PIA 8) [top]

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