Farmers picket in Bacolod: Duterte slowest in giving land to tillers | Inquirer News

Farmers picket in Bacolod: Duterte slowest in giving land to tillers

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 08:02 PM October 01, 2019

BACOLOD CITY—At least 2,500 farmers protested in front of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) office in the city on Monday, Sept. 30, to express frustration at the seeming disconnect between President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to fast track land reform and actual government action.

The farmers said the government’s agrarian reform program, which Duterte had offered to speed up to wean away landless farmers from communist rebels, was still “snail paced.”


“You’ve never changed your promises, Mr. President,” said Teresita Tarlac, head of the Negros-Panay chapter of peasant group Task Force Mapalad (TFM).

“Before and after you won the 2016 elections, you never stopped assuring us and inspiring us that you would implement CARP and complete the program’s land distribution phase,” Tarlac said, referring to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which had been started under the late President Corazon Aquino.


The promise, however, did not lead to the change that farmers wanted to see, Tarlac said.

She said the DAR’s land acquisition and distribution record was “dismal,” making the Duterte administration “the slowest of all administrations that implemented CARP for the last three decades.”

In a press statement, TFM said DAR data showed under Duterte, the distribution of land to beneficiaries was slowest since 1988, when CARP started being implemented.

In the first three years of the Duterte administration—2016 to 2018—the DAR distributed to farmers only a total of 91,776 hectares of land nationwide, or an annual average of just 30,592 hectares.

Land distribution under Duterte, TFM said, was just 8 percent of accomplishment under the administration of former President Fidel Ramos during Ramos’ first three years in office.

The DAR data were “proof that while there had been numerous” ceremonies featuring Duterte handing out land titles, or certificates of land ownership award, “this does not mean that the current administration had also fast tracked and increased its land acquisition and distribution record.”/TSB

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TAGS: Bacolod City, beneficiaries, CARP, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), DAR, Land, landless, TFM
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