DAR might miss 2014 deadline in distributing lands to farmers
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Agrarian Reform might not be able to fully accomplish the distribution of lands to farmers when the law for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program extension with reform (Carper) law ends on 2014.
Pampanga Representative Anna York Bondoc, vice chairperson of the House committee on appropriations, told lawmakers on behalf of the DAR whose budget she sponsored at the plenary that the agency has yet to distribute some 300,000 hectares of agricultural lands, which fall under the Carper law.
It was President Benigno Aquino III’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino, who launched CARP back in 1988. DAR has so far distributed some eight million agricultural lands from the date of implementation until this year.
The CARP will end by June 30, 2014.
Bondoc told fellow lawmakers that distribution of land would continue even after the law expires. She pointed to a provision which states that areas given notices of coverage can still be distributed once the Carper law ends.
The lawmaker said that DAR eyes to issue the said notices while the law was still in effect to ensure that all capable land will be given to beneficiaries.
Anakpawis Partylist Representative Rafael Mariano expressed worries for DAR workers if the P5.7 billion funding supposedly for its support services would be given to the Department of Agriculture.
Bondoc however assured him that the said fund stays with the DAR but added that what had the agency worried was other allocations for farm-to-market roads “na sinakop na po ng DA.”
“Nangangamba sila, wala pang 2014 kinuha na ng DA lahat. Hopefully, marerestore ito,” said Bondoc.
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