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PIA Press Release

NGOs call for CARP extension

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (28 November) -- Non-government organizations are reminding legislators to enact House Bill 4077 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) before the end of the season.

NGOs which called for the enactment are the Alternate Forum for Research in Mindanao, Builders for Rural Empowerment and Human Rights Advocates Netwroks, Mindanao Farmworkers Development Center, Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka, and Ugnayan ng mga Lokal na Nagsasariling Organisasyon ng mga Mamamayan sa Kanayunan.

The group stressed that the program is not yet completed and that it needs more time and resources to fulfill its obligations.

Data showed that 250,000 hectares of agricultural land in Mindanao are waiting to be distributed. And even if Mindanao is considered the country's food basket, only a very few rural elite carry this basket.

These NGOs believed that the program, despite its imperfections, has relatively improved the lives of landless farmers and the rest of the rural poor.

The group then urged House Speaker Prospero Nograles who passed the House Resolution 737 which for them, assails the constitutional provision on national patrimony by allowing foreign investors to operate vast tracts of agricultural lands, to hear the voice of the rural poor sector.

"What seems to be transpiring at the House of Representatives right now may be a reenactment of what happened 20 years ago and place the nation's future in critical condition." the group stated.

The group believes that what the country needs is a socially responsive law to complete the agrarian reform tasks.

They want the government to redistribute the remaining 1.3 million hectares of agriculture land and answer its pending obligations to the 200,000 beneficiaries. (PIA) [top]

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