Siquijor solon backs CARP extension
Siquijor (9 July) -- Congressman Orlando B. Fua, Sr. ardently defended the extension of the country's flagship social reform program and its support services, right on its 20th year anniversary celebration.
The comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is supposed to end on June 10 but concerted efforts practically from all sectors of society were made to extend the program until December, 2008.
In Congress, the bill extending the CARP is still subject for deliberations. Some congressmen contended that Republic Act 6657, otherwise known as CARP has many loopholes that need to be amended and revised. Although, it is certain to be extended, its approval will be deferred until December, 2008 subject to amendments on some provisions.
Cong. Fua, who has seen CARP slowly changed the conditions of his community said an extension would allow the province more social developments and more empowered farmers who can work for their own upliftment.
Fua's stand was exactly opposite from those of cause-oriented farmer groups openly saying that the country's CARP is far from the genuine land reform they imagine.
He said CARP has changed the economic landscape and conditions of many Siquijor farmers and that still many others are waiting to be served by the program.
"With CARP's extension, more farmers will be benefited from its various programs and projects", he said.
Fua cited his consistent support to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) whose many projects were materialized through his Countryside Development Assistance Fund (CDAF).
One with his father's opinion, Governor Orlando "Shane" A. Fua, Jr. said that the program is very important to the people as it is aimed at giving land for the landless, so that one can have a land to call his "own".
He said anybody can be a beneficiary of the program, granting one has no land to till. He mentioned one example that is Mr. Thomas Harold, an American with a Siquijodnon wife, who became the first foreigner in the island to received a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA).
Meanwhile DAR Regional Director Rodulfo Inson expressed profound gratitude to the congressman and the governor for their unending support to the CARP.
He said the development of the province is not remote because of its remarkable peace and order situation and the initiatives of its leaders.
Provincial Agrarian reform Officer Maria Lourdes Mariano said that the anniversary of CARP is the day of farmers.
Giving more substance to that day was an agri exhibit which served as the marketing outlet of farmers' produce especially those coming from the agrarian reform communities (ARCs).
The 20th CARP anniversary celebration also gave substantial attention to the agrarian reform beneficiaries and the PDMSP scholars. (RA) [top]