The State of Agrarian Reform Under President Benigno Aquino III’s Government
Sunday 28 July 2013, by
The Save Agrarian Reform Alliance (SARA), a network of national farmers’ organizations, rural women, non-government organizations (NGOs) and agrarian reform beneficiaries pushing for the immediate, effective, substantive and just implementation of agrarian reform in the country, launched a series of ground consultations and survey in 2012 to assess the implementation of CARPER, and agrarian reform in general. This report contains data and information directly culled from the experiences of agrarian reform beneficiaries and advocacy organizations in various provinces of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Official government data were also used.
Based on these field accounts, what has emerged is a picture of implementation characterized by paralysis and the retreat of agrarian reform resulting from the following: Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) lackluster performance; a ‘legally conservative’ secretary; budget cuts; efforts by landowners and anti-agrarian reform forces to subvert and block land redistribution; and an ineffective bureaucracy that has not functioned with the sense of urgency needed to complete land distribution by June 2014. The non-completion of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) law or RA 9700 will affect more than a million Filipino farmers.