You are on page 1of 2

Rural communities have historically been exposed to risk, something that has affected the

development of a range of skills to adapt to the harsh natural and climatic phenomena.
However, in recent decades, increased risk, and particularly agricultural risk, both by
climate variability as well as by the human action that affects it, accelerates the processes
of transformation with negative impacts in most cases in the productive sector such as in
agriculture and livestock, expressed in terms of changes in resource availability and
quality, changes in environmental and climatic conditions.

In the Philippines, recognizing the vital role of agrarian reform in promoting agricultural
production and reducing rural poverty has always been given importance.
Notwithstanding the challenges, the critical role of the agriculture sector in a country’s
overall economic development as stylized in economic development literature is well
known. First, it provides food and vital raw materials for the rest of the economy.
Second, it provides a significant market for the products of the non-agricultural economy,
as buyer of farm inputs as well as consumer goods and services produced in the non-
agricultural economy. And third, as the sector grows and modernizes in the face of
limited supplies of agricultural land, it releases surplus labor to the industry and services
sectors. However, as the trend towards healthier lifestyle continues to grow, the interest
in organic farming in the Philippines has also been expeditiously gaining ground.

Through one of our activities in Agrarian Law and Jurisprudence class headed by Atty.
Stella C. Cabahug-Ranalan we were able to visit JB Nature Farm owned by Engr. Jun
Escobal and Dr. Bessie Escobal last October 1, 2017 and immerse ourselves on the
importance of farming in the society and review the trends in the Philippine agricultural
sector’s performance and relates these to the policy environment within which the sector
has operated through the years.

Section 4 of RA 6657 provides that the CARP “shall cover, regardless of tenurial
arrangement and commodity produced, all public and private agricultural lands.” As to
what constitutes “agricultural land,” it is referred to as “land devoted to agricultural
activity as defined in this Act and not classified as mineral, forest, residential,
commercial or industrial land.” The deliberations of the Constitutional Commission
confirm this limitation. “Agricultural lands” are only those lands which are “arable and
suitable agricultural lands”.

The JB Nature Farm located in Brgy. Sukailang, Surigao City is a 6-hectare farm that
offers learning activities on organic farming. Engr. Jun Escobal explained that they
previously acquired title on the said land where the farm is located before commencing
their operation being recognized as an alienable and disposable agricultural land. The law
provides that alienable or disposable (A & D Lands) are those that can be acquired or
issued title. Our constitution provides that only agricultural lands can be disposed of to
private citizens.

For privately claimed public alienable and disposable lands, the DENR first issues a Free
Patent to qualified applicants for the retained area of not more than five (5) hectares. The
DAR shall then cover the excess area and issue a CLOA or EP and distribute these to

The role of the DAR in the case is limited to the documentation and protection of the leasehold arrangement between public and land claimant and the tenants. that these alienable and disposable lands that are privately claimed by claimants who are not qualified under the criteria set under RA 6940 (1990) should be turned over to DAR for distribution under CARP. the disposition shall be under the jurisdiction of the DENR. As these claimants/tenants are mere occupants and can not be granted Free Patents by the DENR.qualified beneficiaries. these lands should instead be committed for agrarian purposes. It is submitted. however. . For untitled public alienable and disposable lands which are tenanted and with claimants not qualified under the criteria specified in RA 6940.