Can Government Implement CARPER?

By Ramon T. Ayco, Sr. September 10, 2011

One big problem in the implementation of CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) is the implementor itself: the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)). This was the contention of Jimmy Tadeo, an agrarian reform constitutionalist who is claiming to be pushing for the implementation of agrarian reform for almost five decades since its promulgation into law during President Diosdado Macapagal‟s administration.

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In the launching of the Focus on the Global South‟s “Policy Review” issue on Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension and Reform (CARPER) entitled The Deadline Nears: Can Government Implement CARPER?, Jimmy Tadeo said, “DAR bureaucracy is bloated, inefficient, pro-landlord, pro-developer, land agent, and corrupt.” The DAR bureaucracy has an attitude of “self preservation” according to Tadeo. CARP should be implemented up to June 30, 2014. But, Tadeo said, the DAR people told me: “Ka Jimmy, hindi kami magtatrabaho: hindi namin tatapusin ang

programa! „Pag tinapos namin, tapos din kami sa June 30, 2014.” (Ka Jimmy, we will not work: we will not finish the program! If we finished it, we will also be finished in June 30, 2014.). In the said launching, the authors and presenters of the paper, Mary Ann Manahan and Carmina Flores-Obanil of the Focus on the Global South, presented symbolic numbers representing the highlights of their study which are: 35 or 3; 1.5; 1.1; 24; 54.2, 51.2 and 47.0; 4; 9.3. The numbers represent the following:
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35 is the number of months left to the government to accomplish the land acquisition and distribution component of CARPER 3 is the equivalent number in years 1.5 million hectares is the amount of lands that still need to be redistributed 1.1 million Filipinos are the target beneficiaries and will be helped out of their poverty situation if CARPER accomplishes its targets 24 hectares (belonging to the category of large landholdings) and above is the size of most of the lands that are now up for distribution 54. 2 percent is the poverty incidence in Masbate in 2009, 51.2 in Northern Samar and 47.0 percent in Camarines Sur—all three provinces are consistently in the list of provinces with highest land redistribution backlog Php 4 billion was cut from the budget of DAR in the current (2011) budget while 9.3 percent was the ratio of lands distributed in 2009 vs. overall target

The presenters concluded: “Poverty incidences and backlog in land reform; lowered budget vs. crunch time for implementation; where the backlog is and who the owners are of the large landholdings: the numbers speak strongly about the state of agrarian reform in the country. The numbers should move government and civil society actors toward making a commitment to fulfil the provisions of CARPER.” The launching, conducted in a form of a roundtable discussion, held in Balay Kalinaw, UP Diliman, Quezon City, on September 9. 2011, was participated by different agrarian reform groups of civil society including the Project Development Institute; and the government agencies: DAR, DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), and NAPC (National Anti-Poverty Commission).

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