Government promises to speed up land reform
MANILA, Philippines—Aquino administration officials promised farmers on Friday that the government would “hasten” land distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reform, a spokesperson for President Benigno Aquino said over state-run radio station dzRB on Saturday.
Abigail Valte said also that members of the Cabinet were to meet first with Aquino to discuss what steps may be taken to address the farmers’ concerns before a schedule is worked out for a possible dialogue between the President and the farmers.
Aquino was on official visits to the Britain and United States when farmers marched from various part of the country and converged in Malacañang on Friday where they were met by government officials.
“That was also committed by our secretaries, that the pace of distribution will be hastened,” Valte said when asked if such a commitment was made.
“Our understanding is that report [by the officials to President Aquino] would come first to see further what we can extend to the farmers. That is something that needs to be scheduled also when the President comes back,” Valte said of the meeting the farmers want with the President.
The farmers have been reported as saying they’d stay put in Manila until they meet with Aquino.