Cha-cha may displace farmers through foreign agri-land acquisition

Cha-cha may displace farmers via opening foreign agri-land acquisition

/ 01:30 PM January 23, 2024

Cha-cha may displace farmers via opening foreign agri-land acquisition

GROUND INFO The Department of Agriculture wants better and complete information on the country’s agricultural production to help guide the agency in crafting policies that will benefit farmers, traders and consumers. —GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Amending the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution may open the possibility for the foreign acquisition of agricultural land in the country, and eviction of farmers, a people’s lawyer said on Tuesday.

In an interview with, Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo lawyer Jobert Pahilga warned that allowing foreigners to obtain 100 percent ownership of businesses in the Philippines is bad news for Filipino farmers who may end up “squatters in their own country.”


READ: Gov’t targets P1.3-trillion investment to boost rice output

“Sa tingin namin lalala yung problema hindi lang sa palay kundi sa food sovereignty kung papayagan ng gobyerno ang pag-amyenda sa Konstitusyon,” Pahilga warned.


(We believe that the problem with rice and food sovereignty would worsen if the government approved of amending the Constitution.)

He explained that this is because the rice paddies, which farmers would sell due to low financial return, would be bought by foreigners who have enough money to make a juicy offer.

“Kung hindi na magsasaka ang mga magsasaka, ibebenta nila ang lupa, ang bibili niyan yung mga foreigner,” the lawyer said.

(If the farmers would no longer farm, they will sell the land, and it will be bought by foreigners.)

“Baka maging iskwater tayo sa sarili nating bansa,” he added.

(We might turn into squatters in our own country)


Pahilga told that the agricultural land sold to business entities would be converted to residential, industrial, and economic use – none of which would contribute to the production of key agricultural goods.

“That’s because those purposes have the most value. The valuation for agricultural land is less than residential or commercial land,” he added in Filipino.

To help educate farmers about Charter change, the lawyer said that the National Peasant Lawyers would be starting a campaign to help inform farmers regarding the effects of amending the Constitution on their livelihood.

“They [farmers] would be hit the most if foreigners would start owning agricultural land,” he mentioned.

Despite being an agricultural nation, the Philippines is the top importer of rice in the world, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile on January 16, Senate President Miguel Zubiri filed Resolution of Both Houses No. 6 which seeks to amend specific economic provisions in the Constitution to “reframe” the country’s economic policies, Zubiri said.

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The proposal has sparked concern from several groups, lawyers, and lawmakers, citing possibilities for corruption and foreign control of crucial public utilities.

TAGS: economic Cha-cha, Farmers

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