17 December 2008
The exclusion of private agricultural lands which have already been subjected to notices of coverage under Section 16 (a) of Republic Act No. 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law) from the coverage of the proposed six-month extension under House Joint Resolution No. 29, as amended, is a simulated extension of the Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) and a virtual requiem for the program.
The joint resolution limited the extension’s coverage to lands under Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) and Voluntary Land Transfer (VLT) which consist of a smaller percentage of lands for acquisition and distribution and excluded private agricultural lands subject to the compulsory process which comprise the bulk of lands for distribution to landless farmers.
What is expiring at the end of the year is the LAD and any extension must include lands both for voluntary and compulsory coverage.
It is regrettable that the consensus in the House of Representatives during the all-member caucus is to limit the LAD to the volition and discretion of landowners by removing compulsory acquisition by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) of the remaining CARPable lands.
This does not only dilute the program but dismembers the heart and soul of the CARP, which is the LAD, because if there is no compulsory acquisition, landowners who have long been resisting compulsory coverage will not volunteer to sell their lands or enter into voluntary land transfer arrangements with their tenants.
What happened this afternoon is a preview of the eventual demise of CARP.
Demise of CARP
- Press Statements