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Garb and Carper

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AS MORE than a hundred peasants from Bukidnon continue their march to Malacañang to own the land they have been fighting for, a leader of a tribal group thinks the protesting peasants should also go beyond the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) campaign.
Datu Jomorito Goaynon, chairman of the lumad group Kalumbay, said the marching peasants must not rely on Carper alone to fight for their lands, but also lobby for the approval of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (Garb).
Garb, or House Bill 374, is a legislation that Goaynon hopes would offer peasants a far better alternative than what Carper has to offer. uthored by members of the progressive party-list representatives, Garb is still pending at the House of Representatives, while Carper, also known as Republic Act 9700, is set to expire on June 30, 2014.
While farmer-groups like Task Force Mapalad (TFM) and Alliance of Land Rights Movement in Mindanao (Alarm-Mindanao) have initiated the march for a cause for the second time to remind the government of their demands, Goaynon said, "They should also set their sights on Garb since Carper’s timeframe is almost at its end."
The problem with Carper, he said, is that there are loopholes agri corporations or huge land owners can tweak to their advantage and to the detriment of the peasants.
“Their cause is reasonable since they only want to have land they can call their own, but I think Carper may not be the best answer to that,” Goaynon told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Tuesday afternoon.
The Carper, he said, is not really friendly to the peasants due to a provision that could lead them to losing what they have been struggling to own.
Goaynon said a Carper provision states that a local government unit (LGU) can convert an arable area from agricultural into industrial or residential.
Under Carper, an LGU has the power to decide if the land is “Carpable” (a land that could be distributed to the landless farmers) or not.
Goaynon said there is a danger that the peasants cannot be awarded with the land that they are fighting for.
If the farmers will just focus their struggle to Carper, he said they might not get land at all.
PNoy not decisive
He added that even if President Benigno Aquino III will give in to the farmers’ demands, he does not have the power to personally distribute the land to them since he will have to refer it the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the government agency tasked to do the conversion and distribution.
Goaynon added that once Carper will expire, the peasants will no longer have assurance to own lands.
What the farmers should be pushing instead, he said, is the passage of the Garb.
Garb provisions
“With the passage of Garb into law, our farmers will not only have the land, but they will get assistance from the government to make their farm lots productive,” Goaynon said.
Among the provisions of Garb is the free distribution of land, the subsidy that the government will provide to the peasant-petitioners and marketing.
“With Garb, this is no longer about agrarian reform but agriculture,” Goaynon said, adding that the advantages that Garb offers to landless farmers all over the country are better than what have been stipulated in Carper.
Meanwhile, the marching peasants is expected to arrive in the city later today, May 28, an itinerary emailed by Task Force Mapalad to this paper Tuesday afternoon indicated.
From Manolo Fortich, the marchers will have arrived in Barangay Puerto, this city, by 5 p.m., where they will meet with other participating groups from Davao provinces and Caraga region, the itinerary reads.
On Thursday, May 29, the contingent will walk from Barangay Puerto to the City Tourism Hall at 6 a.m and are expected to arrive there during lunchtime.
In the afternoon of the same day, the farmers will attend an interfaith service at Kiosko sa Kagawasan in Divisoria. They will stay at Barangay Macasandig covered court for the night.
On Friday, May 30, the groups will go to the offices of DAR, National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for a series of dialogues.
The following day, May 31, the farmers will depart for Manila. http://archive.sunstar.com.ph/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/2014/05/28/genuine-agrarian-reform-bill-better-carper-345143 MANILA, Philippines- The congressional bicameral conference committee finally approved last June 9 the bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for another five years. The program is set to expire this month.
The CARPer (CARP with Extension and Reforms) Law will now be sent back to the Senate and the House of Representatives for ratification before it is submitted to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for signature.
Congress is now on recess but it will resume its sessions to act on the measure next month in time for the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA). Upon ratification, the bill will take effect on July 1.
Agrarian reform advocates from the Reform CARP Movement attest that the consolidated version contains majority of the original reforms being lobbied for by farmers groups.
Two important features of the new law are the retention of compulsory land acquisition as a mode of redistribution and the P150 billion funding for the extended program. Forty percent of the budget is allotted to support services with credit to farmers.
The bill also provides for land distribution of up to a maximum of three hectares each to qualified beneficiaries first before distributing the remaining portion of the landholding to other beneficiaries.
The following are the other salient points of the Bicam-approved CARPER: * ban on conversion of all irrigated and irrigable lands into other uses to protect and prevent depletion of agricultural lands; removed provision on conversion for aquaculture, poultry and swine, etc. * requirement of actual and peaceful installation of beneficiaries; * indefeasibility of the Emancipation Patent or Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA); * recognition of the legal personality of farmers; * exclusive jurisdiction of the Department of Agrarian Reform; * creation of women’s desk in all agrarian reform communities * continuing appropriation * joint oversight committee * indetermination of just compensation (removed “potential use”) * land acquisition and distribution and voluntary offer to sell retained as the only modes of distribution; other modes were removed.
While “killer” provisions were included, such as the landowner’s attestation of beneficiaries and priority on tenants and regular farmworkers as qualified beneficiaries, the advocates feel safety nets were inserted to dilute these.
Members of the Senate panel, who participated in the deliberations, were Senators Gregorio Honasan, chairman of the committee on agrarian reforms, Aquilino Pimentel Jr., Richard Gordon and Pia Cayetano.
Congressman Elias Bulut, Honasan’s counterpart, led the House panel along with Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia, Nueva Ecija Rep. Rodolfo Antonino, among others.
“We are happy with the approval of the Bicam report on CARPer,” Hontiveros said. “On the eve of CARP’s 22nd anniversary, we are resuscitating a program that promises justice for our farmers.
“We dedicate this victory to Ka Rene Peñas, whose life and struggle will always inspire us,” Hontiveros said, referring to the farmer leader of Sumilao, Bukidnon province who was slain on June 5.
Peñas was one of the participants in the 1,770-kilometer “walk for land, walk for justice” of Sumilao farmers in October 2007 meant to prod the government to award the land their families had been tilling for decades.
At the time of his death he was a barangay councilor (kagawad) of San Vicente and national vice president of the Pakisama or Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (National Movement of Peasant Organizations). https://landwatchasia.wordpress.com/2009/06/26/philippine-carp-extension-with-reforms-law-passed/ (source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer.net, June 10;http://carpernow.multiply.com)

Comparison Between the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
BY ANAKPAWIS PARTY LIST Posted by Bulatlat

http://bulatlat.com/main/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/8-49-ap-garb-vs-carp-ok.pdf

book ref
Principles of agrarian reforms, cooperatives and taxation, Jose N. Toledo,2000

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