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Agrarian Reform in the Philippines

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1. Define Agrarian Reform in the Philippines.
The present agrarian law implemented nationwide is the Republic Act no. 6657 otherwise known as The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or CARL, signed into law by former president Corazon C. Aquino and implementing to that effect the government program known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program or CARP. It is called comprehensive because it covers not only private lands but also public lands and other lands of the public domain which are classified as agricultural, regardless of the crops planted thereon, the growing fruit trees, farm products, and other farm activities perform and/or than by persons, whether natural or judicial.

The 1987 Philippine Constitution, Article II, Sec. 21 says that: the state shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that provide adequate social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living, and improve quality of life for all. The state must reasonably solve the age old problem of poverty of our people who are ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill- nourished, a great majority of whom live in the rural areas. Spanish time

During the Spanish time, big tracks of lands where owned by the Friars or Religious Orders. The process of distribution of lands was than in the form of rewards to the peasants of their loyalty and faithful service to the Spanish Crown. The rest of the farmers possessed lands under the so called shared tenancy. American Time

After the Spanish occupation, the church land were subdivided as a measure of land reform and this land where sold to the farmers to resolve peasant unrest. This process serve as a set up fotr the Filipino farmers to buy and amass big tracts of land which later on became the haciendas. That is the reason why we cannot blame the Aquino and other clans if they have Hacienda Luisita, Hacienda Arroyo and others. Marcos Administration

In 1972, then President Ferdinand A. Marcos issued a decree declaring the whole country as a land reform area. This decree was seemingly ambiguous in nature; thus, another law was enacted to explain the former period. This later law was enacted to remove the ambiguity brought and about the old law. Under this Agrarian Law tenants were allowed to own through amortization 5 hectares of land covering lands planted with rice and/or corns. Aquino Administration

The full implementation of the land reform program was then implemented by former president Corazon C. Aquino. She signed executive order no. 229 (providing the mechanism for the implementation of the comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program).

2. Discuss the Agrarian program under P-noy.

The State of Agrarian Reform Under President Benigno Aquino III’s Government

The Save Agrarian Reform Alliance (SARA), a network of national farmers’ organizations, rural women, non-government organizations (NGOs) and agrarian reform beneficiaries pushing for the immediate, effective, substantive and just implementation of agrarian reform in the country, launched a series of ground consultations and survey in 2012 to assess the implementation of CARPER, and agrarian reform in general. This report contains data and information directly culled from the experiences of agrarian reform beneficiaries and advocacy organizations in various provinces of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Official government data were also used.

Based on these field accounts, what has emerged is a picture of implementation characterized by paralysis and the retreat of agrarian reform resulting from the following: Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) lackluster performance; a ‘legally conservative’ secretary; budget cuts; efforts by landowners and anti-agrarian reform forces to subvert and block land redistribution; and an ineffective bureaucracy that has not functioned with the sense of urgency needed to complete land distribution by June 2014. The non-completion of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) law or RA 9700 will affect more than a million Filipino farmers.

3. Make an assessment of Hacienda Luisita CARP Case.

With the ascent of President Benigno Aquino III to the presidency, the future of Hacienda Luisita has become a focus of attention. This issue was supposed to be settled decades ago. But the Hacienda Luisita management failed to do their part on the agreement. Even though the agreement to settle the decades-old clash is included on the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the present machinations of the management is seen as deceptive as they only opt to give more than 1,000 hectares of land plus cash instead of distributing to farmers the more than 4,000 hectares already designated by the Department of Agrarian Reform for distribution to farmer-beneficiaries.

There’s a report on Noynoy Aquino saying he’s got less than one percent share of the hacienda. Then, in another story, he was quoted as saying they could have gotten at least P3 billion if the 4,500-hectare land were sold at P4.5 billion. In one story, Noynoy was quoted as saying that the would give up the land.

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