II. Strong small-scale farming systems

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Overview

The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was enacted in 1988 to address the highly-skewed land ownership in the country influenced by the Regalian Doctrine. Before CARP, government estimated that around 20% of Filipino families controlled 80% of the lands. In 2009, due to the huge backlog in land coverage and redistribution, it was further amended to extend until 2014 through the CARP with Extension and Reforms (CARPER).

After the expiration of land acquisition distribution component of the CARPER in June 2014, there remains more than 700,000 heectares still needed to be distributed. Prior to the distribution, these landholdings have yet to be issued with Notices of Coverage (NOCs).

To address this, the HB 4296 was filed to complete the issuance of NOCs. The bill passed in the Upper House but was blocked in the Lower House. On the other hand, the HB 4375 on the creation of an independent Agrarian Reform Commission was filed to ensure continued support for the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). However, due to the recess of Congress, these two proposed bills will have to be re-filed in the next Congress.

Claiming lands rights among farmers have been an issue since the 1990s due to the inadequacy of legal assistance provided to farmers in rural areas. In most areas there are not enough lawyers available to aid them in addressing issues and problems related to agrarian reform.

Aside from being harassed by the landowners, farmers have to contend with bureaucratic processes and procedures necessary for the implementation of the CARP. Farmer beneficiaries need sufficient information and knowledge pertaining to their rights under laws, rules and regulations related to agrarian reform (AR). Farmer beneficiaries also need to know their rights and obligations related to their ownership, use, cultivation and production of the land they till.

Targets

  • Influence the policy environment for the legislation of the two proposed Bills.
  • Strengthen paralegal works of the Members to aid in fast-tracking of resolution of land claims