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PIA Press Release
2009/06/02

Palace wants Congress to pass CARP extension and Right to Reply bills

Manila (2 June) -- Malacanang has called on Congress to pass two important bills before it adjourns on June 6.

The two pending legislative measures -- the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) extension and the Right to Reply bills are still awaiting Congress' approval with only five more session days to go.

Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III said "Congress has to act on these two bills. They still have time…both are important bills especially the CARP bill."

The CARP, the land redistribution scheme mandated by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, or RA 6657, expired in December 2008.

Last December, Congress passed a joint resolution extending the CARP to six more months, or until June 2009, to allow the Department of Agrarian Reform to complete the land distribution process.

The resolution, however, removed the compulsory acquisition component from the CARP law's land distribution provision.

Last month, the President certified the bill as urgent and was pushing for a 10-year extension of the CARP Law to 2018 so as to allow the government to fully cover the remaining two million hectares that will benefit an additional two million farmers nationwide.

The other bill—the Right to Reply, was passed on second reading by the House of Representatives last May 25. The Senate approved unanimously its version last December. (PIA) [top]

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