CARP extension to benefit more Capiceños
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (29 July) -- More than 6,000 Capiceños remain hopeful that they will benefit from the government's land distribution program.
According to Capiz Agrarian Reform Provincial head Eberardo Erispe, they are eyeing to distribute about 10,000 more hectares to qualified beneficiaries in the province should the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) be made.
Erispe said that approximately 6,500 Capiceño farmer beneficiaries are expected to benefit from the government's land distribution program.
Capiceños are one with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's call for Congress to extend the CARP Law before Christmas.
During her State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, President Arroyo batted for the extension of the CARP Law as a priority national agenda.
She also called for the elimination of the "rackets" that have despoiled land reform program.
"There are those who say that agrarian reform is a failure, that our rice importations prove it. There are those who say it is a success—if only because anything is better than nothing. Indeed, people are happier owning the land they work, no matter what the difficulties," the President said.
President Arroyo revealed that the government has so far distributed over the past seven years some 854,000 hectares of private farmland, 797,000 of public farmland, and Certificates of Ancestral Domain for 525,000 hectares, including over a 100,000 hectares for Bugkalots in Quirino, Aurora, and Nueva Vizcaya.
She vowed to "continue to do all I can for the rural as well as urban poor" as she stressed that "there must be a path where justice and progress converge."
Agrarian reform should not merely subdivide misery, it must raise living standards, President Arroyo said, pointing out that ownership raises the farmer from his but productivity will keep him on his feet. (PIA) [top]