CARP failed, say North Mindanao farmers
ILIGAN CITY—Three of four peasants in Northern Mindanao are landless, more than 20 years since the government implemented the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), a militant farmers’ group said on Wednesday.
This was the same reason the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said it would hold a three-day protest action, dubbed “Peasants Protest March for Land, Rights and Social Justice,” starting Oct. 18. KMP said at least 10,000 farmers from Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental are to take part in the march that would end in Cagayan de Oro City.
The group said of Bukidnon’s 315,164 hectares of alienable and disposable lands, 79,501 ha had been planted with pineapple and 31,607 ha with bananas, both of which are for the export market.
Danilo Menente, another farmer leader, said the expanding role of transnational corporations in Bukidnon’s plantation-dependent economy “is putting into serious risk the survival of small farmers.”
Companies “conspire with traditional landlords” to evade agrarian reform, Menente said.
Ireneo Udarbe, chair of Misamis Oriental Farmers’ Association, said coconut farmers in the province remained poor despite the huge value of coconut exports the industry has produced.
“Because we do not own the land we till, we were forced to enter into oppressive sharing systems with landlords,” said Udarbe.
In coconut plantations and individual coconut farms, agricultural workers receive P120 to P150 for a day’s work.
In Cagayan de Oro City, Felix Aguhob, director of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Misamis Oriental, said the KMP’s claims were baseless. He said CARP in the region was working.
Aguhob said that of 300,000 ha of land placed under CARP, 81 percent had been distributed to beneficiaries. Ryan Rosauro and Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao
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