Farmers appeal needed reforms for CARP
by Gil E. Miranda
Agusan del Norte (27 February) -- Civil Society and Farmers held street demonstration to urge the government to pass into law immediately the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER). They held a rally to voice their desire and support for House Bill No. 4077 last January 30, 2009 at Butuan City.
The parade started at the Agrarian Reform Information and Marketing Center (AIM-C) at exactly 8:30 in the morning going through Capitol Compound all the way to Montilla Boulevard and ended at Rizal Park for a short Rally. Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) have spoken and gave their testimonies on the services they have acquired through the CARP Program.
More than 1,200 farmers from different Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC) in Agusan Norte, NGOs, FEDARCCO Members, PO Leaders, Youth and Government Agencies participated in the Rally with placards to voice out their clamor and anger at landlord-dominated Congress who prefer to give lands to foreigners than Filipino Farmers.
The Joint Resolution as agreed by the lawmakers extending the implementation of the said Program for a period of 6 (six) month has set to expire on June 30, 2009. The higher authorities said that the CARP will continue but only Compulsory Acquisition (CA) is excluded in the program.
The farmers in Agusan del Norte expressed their collective sentiments to stop Congress from emasculating CARP and demand to continue the Compulsory Acquisition (CA) mode of acquiring lands.
"Without Compulsory Acquisition, many beneficiaries, who desire to own a land, will not have a chance because no landowner will volunteer." FEDARCCO Chairman Isidro Madaje said, " This historic March Rally are just only the beginning," he further said.
Last November 21, 2008, same farmer leaders and Civil Society converged and tried to solicit the commitment of the legislators of 1st District and Second District in Agusan del Norte and actually visited the home and offices of Hon. Congressman Joboy Aquino and Hon. Congressman Edilmero A. Amante to fully support the extension of the said program and to expedite the passage of House Bill No. 4077.
After the parade, Press Conference was also held by representatives of the Farmers, FEDARCCO Officials and PO Leaders before the local tri-media group. (DAR-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Caraga) [top]