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PIA Press Release

Extension of CARP lauded

by Peter Balocnit

Tabuk, Kalinga (12 June) -- The extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for another five years will complete the acquisition of lands subject for distribution to landless tillers in the province.

This was the statement of Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Edaņo Canao in an interview last week relative to the passing by both house of the CARP extension bill. More than 3,000 hectares of 'carpable' lands identified are up for distribution if acquisition is successful for the next five years.

Canao lauded the provision on the compulsory acquisition (CA) of lands, which was scrapped in the draft bill but restored in the final versions of Congress. "Without the compulsory acquisition of lands, nothing will be distributed since the remaining lands for distribution are owned by individuals and besides the CA provision "is the core component of CARP," he stressed.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo certified as urgent the CARP extension bill. The final version of the consolidated bill will be enacted when Congress resumes session last week of July.

Canao said the bill covers all public and private agricultural lands as provided in Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. 229, including other lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture.

The measure, he said, stipulates that prioritization of coverage "is not necessary" and that after June 30, 2009, the modes of acquisition will be limited to voluntary offer to sell and compulsory acquisition. Aside from extending CARP for another five years, the bill also allocates a P100-billion outlay for land acquisition and distribution, support services, agrarian justice delivery, and other funding requirements during the extension period.

Of the total 'carpable' balance, 300 hectares is targeted distributed this year. "We have already released 33 hectares from January to May acquired under the voluntary offer for sale in the municipalities of Tabuk, Rizal and Pinukpuk," Canao said.

Meanwhile, Canao announced the various projects implemented by DAR this first quarter of 2009. These are the P1.5 million farm-to-market road in the boundary of Balbalan and Pinukpuk; P2.5M communal irrigation system for Tinglayan (proper) West Irrigation System; and the P0.5 million FMR in Pinococ, Pinupuk.

Among the proposals for implementation during the extension program are the rehabilitation of the Tannubong FMR; construction of Madopdop bridge; Taloctoc-Mangali FMR; and Dilag-Ileb FMR worth P9 million. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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