Quantcast
Latest Stories

Farmers from Negros, Bukidnon and Davao Oriental press for land distribution

By

Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes. www.dar.gov.ph/

MANILA, Philippines — After Hacienda Luisita, the spotlight is now on the distribution of the landholdings in Negros provinces, a process that Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes admits is “more difficult” than the politically incendiary Tarlac estate owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III.

Hundreds of landless farmers from the Visayas are on a 10-day journey to Manila to urge the President and the Department of Agrarian Reform to speed up the distribution of sugar plantations in Negros Occidental.

As of Monday, some 250 farmers from Negros Occidental had arrived in Batangas City, where they were greeted by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles. Twenty-two Catholic bishops voiced support for the march to Malacañang on Monday.

From Batangas, the group proceeded to Santa Rosa in Laguna, where they were to stay overnight before proceeding to Manila early on Tuesday.

Another group of around 60 farmers, tired and sweating, arrived in Cagayan de Oro City from Davao Oriental and Bukidnon. They were to fly to Manila and were to join the Negros marchers on Wednesday, in Muntinlupa City. Some of them had been marching since June 1 from Malaybalay in Bukidnon.

The Mindanao marchers are demanding the distribution of 30,232 hectares of land in Bukidnon and 6,185 hectares in Davao Oriental.

In an interview with reporters on Monday, De los Reyes described the situation in Negros as more complicated than that of Hacienda Luisita.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the Tarlac land should be distributed to farmers, striking down the stock distribution implemented by the estate management in 1989.

Ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona cited the landmark ruling against the Cojuangcos as the reason for the President Aquino’s animosity toward him, which led to his impeachment trial and conviction in the Senate tribunal last week.

“Negros is more complicated. Unlike Hacienda Luisita, the lands there (in Negros Occidental) were broken up to lots. The balance here is 10,000-15,000 lots,” De los Reyes said. “The issues here are technical issues,” he noted.

DAR placed the undistributed land in the Negros provinces at 120,000 ha. However, the NGO group Task Force Mapalad placed the total of size of undistributed lands at 130,000 ha.

The sheer number of land that should be evaluated and surveyed would be too much for the technical people on the ground, De los Reyes said. DAR has only eight surveyors in Negros Occidental, according to De los Reyes. “This is why we will have to bid out the services for surveying,” he said.

The lack of staff has affected other aspects of the distribution process, said De los Reyes.

There has been some resistance from landowners, he said.  De los Reyes recalled that a case has been filed before the court questioning the powers of the DAR and the Land Registration Authority to annotate the titles.

Task Force Mapalad, which organized the march, blasted the government and the DAR for allegedly dragging their feet on the Negros farmers’ plight.

DAR still has to issue notices of coverage (NOCs) on more than 300 haciendas on the Negros Island, with the backlog of 135,000 ha causing agrarian unrest on the island where landowners have been bragging that they supported President Aquino during the 2010 elections, the TFM said in a statement.

“DAR’s failure to efficiently pursue its LAD (land acquisition and distribution) function for several years caused a huge backlog of 1.093 million hectares of agricultural land as of January 2012, with 94 percent of the backlog privately owned. In 2011, only 54.6 percent of the 200,000-hectare national target has been achieved,” TFM confirmed.

(With reports from Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas;  Maricar Cinco and Marrah Ericka Lesaba, Inquirer Southern Luzon; and, Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao)


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: agrarian reform , Agriculture , Department of Agrarian Reform , Farmers , justice and rights , News , Virgilio delos Reyes


  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JKS7Y3WBUOJPOMTYPCRXSKW7KM Franzeline Perdubal

    Danding Cojuangco owns thousands of hectares in Negros Occidental under the  ECJ Farms.

    Time to tighten the gap of the rich and poor in this country. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/oustcorona ILL_HIT_YOUR_FACE

      Spot on Franzeline – From Binalbagan, Pontevedra, and if I remember right it was in La Castellana or La Carlota were those Lands Danding owned…

      So much for equality in this country.

  • UsoUso82

    UsoUso82,
    We salute you Farmers! it is he backbone of a decent work today. 60% of the nation income comes from farming. We will support you in achieving the social agenda today. Be proud to be a true Pinoy. Mabuhay kayo!

  • marithefrancois

    friar lands should be handed over to farmers, what? 30000 hectares lang sa bukidnon. what a pittance to how vast the church owns…..share naman dre



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement