"A nation where there is equitable land ownership with empowered agrarian reform beneficiaries who are effectively managing their economic and social development for a better quality of life".
"To lead in the implementation of agrarian reform and sustainable rural development in the country through land tenure improvement, the provision of integrated development services to landless farmers, farm workers, small landowner and landowner-cultivators, and the delivery of agrarian justice, as key to long lasting peace and development in the countryside".
History of DAR
The DAR was created under Republic Act No. 6389, when President Ferdinand E. Marcos signed it into law on September 10, 1971. The Act necessitated the establishment of a new self-contained Department. It replaced the former Land Authority that was created by virtue of R.A. No. 3844 that took effect on August 8, 1963. R.A. No. 3844 reorganized existing agencies involved in tasks related to land reform and realigned their functions toward attaining the common objectives of the land reform program.
In 1978, when the country adopted the parliamentary form of government, the DAR was renamed Ministry of Agrarian Reform.
On July 26, 1987, the Department by virtue of Executive Order No. 129-A was organized structurally and functionally. This E.O. expanded the powers and operations of the Department.
On September 27, 2004, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, signed Executive Order No. 364, and the Department of Agrarian Reform was renamed to Department of Land Reform. This E.O. also broadened the scope of the Department, making it responsible for all land reform in the country. It also placed the Philippine Commission on Urban Poor (PCUP) under its supervision and control. Recognition of the ownership of ancestral domain by indigenous peoples also became the responsibility of this new department, under the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).
On August 23, 2005, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Executive Order No. 456 and renamed the Department of Land Reform back to Department of Agrarian Reform, since "the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law goes beyond just land reform but includes the totality of all factors and support services designed to lift the economic status of the beneficiaries."
At the present administration of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III, the DAR which is the lead agency for CARP implementation is bent on sustaining the gains of agrarian reform through its three major components– Land Tenure Improvement (LTI), Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) and Agrarian Justice Delivery (AJD).
Together with the efforts to fight graft and corruption by the President, it is imperative to have institutional reforms within DAR as a complement to the abovementioned DAR components as well as give credence, transparency and accountability at all sectors of the DAR bureaucracy.
About the DAR Logo
The logo shows the Department's acronym representing the institution and its role as the lead agency in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The sun radiates its light into the field of green divided into 12 segments representing the original 12 regions covered by the program. Green stands for fertility and productivity while yellow represents hope and a golden harvest of agrarian reform beneficiaries who are the recipients of the services provided by the Department via CARP. Both colors imply that economic growth and sound rural development can be achieved through agrarian reform.
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) or Republic Act 6657 is the redistribution of public and private agricultural lands to farmers and farmworkers who are landless, irrespective of tenurial arrangement. CARP’s vision is to have an equitable land ownership with empowered agrarian reform beneficiaries who can effectively manage their economic and social development to have a better quality of life.
One of the major programs of CARP is Land Tenure Improvement, which seeks to hasten distribution of lands to landless farmers. Similarly, the Department offers Support Services to the beneficiaries such as infrastructure facilities, marketing assistance program, credit assistance program, and technical support programs. Furthermore, the department seeks to facilitate, resolve cases and deliver Agrarian Justice.
The legal basis for CARP is the Republic Act No. 6657 otherwise known as Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) signed by President Corazon C. Aquino on June 10, 1988. It is an act which aims to promote social justice and industrialization, providing the mechanism for its implementation, and for other purposes.
Coverage of CARP
- Government owned lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture;
- Alienable and disposable lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable for agriculture;
- Public domain lands in excess of the specific limits as determined by Congress; and
- Private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture regardless of the agricultural products raised or that can be raised thereon.
History of Agrarian Reform
A. Uncovering the Roots of Land Ownership Problems
PRE-COLONIAL TIMES (Before 16th Century)
The Philippines, even before being colonized by different countries, already have developed an organization for their communities. The land owned by these communities is known as barangay which consists of 30-100 families which is administered by different chiefs.
In these barangays, everyone regardless of status had access on the land and mutually shares resources to the rest of the community. They believed in and practiced the concept of “stewardship” where relationship between man and nature is important.
Land cultivation was done commonly by kaingin system or the slash and burn method wherein land was cleared by burning the bushes before planting the crops or either land was plowed and harrowed before planting. On the other hand, food production was intended for family consumption only at first but later on neighboring communities where engaged in a barter trade, exchanging their goods with others. Some even traded their agricultural products with luxury items of some foreign traders like the Chinese, Arabs and Europeans.
The only recorded transaction of land sale during that time was the Maragtas Code. This is the selling of the Panay Island to the ten Bornean datus in exchange for a golden salakot and a long gold necklace. Although the Code of Luwaranwas one of the oldest written laws of the Muslim society which contains provision on the lease of cultivated lands, there was no record how the lease arrangement was practiced.
SPANISH ERA (1521-1896)
When the Spanish came to the country in 1521, they introduced “pueblo” an agriculture system wherein the native rural communities were organized into pueblo and each Christianized native family is given four to five hectares of land to cultivate, thus there is no landless class.
Nonetheless, these native families are merely landholders and not legitimate landowners. By law, the land assigned to them was the property of the Spanish King where they pay their colonial tributes to the Spanish authorities in the form of agricultural products that they produce.
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Philippines as a colony of Spain implemented policies that would mainstream the country into the world of capitalism. The economy was opened to the world market as exporter of raw materials and importer of finished goods. The agricultural exports were mandated and hacienda system was developed as a new form of ownership. More people lost their lands and were forced to become tillers.
Agricultural tenancy during that time originated when the Spanish crown implemented the Laws of the Indies. The law awards vast tracts of land to the religious orders in the country. Some of them are awarded to the Spanish military as reward for their service (also known as repartiamentos), and to the other Spaniards known as encomienderos to manage and have the right to receive tributes from the natives tilling the land also known as encomiendas. Because of this, the natives within these areas became mere tillers working for a share of crops. They did not even have any rights to the land.
Ideally the purpose of the encomienda system is for the encomienderos to protect the natives and further introduce them into Catholic faith in exchange for tribute from the natives. But abusive encomienderos collected more tributes that became the land rentals from the natives living in the area.
A compras y vandalas system was practiced wherein tillers were made to compulsory sell at a very low price or surrender their agricultural harvests to Spanish authorities where encomienderos can resell it for a profit. People of the encomiendas were also required to render personal services on public and religious work and as a household help to the encomienderos.
In 1865, there was a law made by the Spanish crown ordering landholders to register their landholdings but only a few were aware of this decree so they were the only ones who were able to register their lands. Ancestral lands were claimed and registered in other people’s names (Spanish officials, inquilinos and caciques or local chieftains). As a result, many peasant families were driven out from the lands they have been cultivating for centuries or were forced to become tillers.
In 1893, the Ley Hipotecaria or the Mortgage Law was introduced that provides the systematic registration of titles and deeds as well as ownership claims. This law was mainly a law on registration of properties rather than a mortgage law.
In 1894, the last Spanish Land Law promulgated in the Philippines was The Maura Law or Royal Decree of 1894. This law states that farmers and landholders were given one year to register their agricultural lands to avoid declaration of it as a state property.
With the encomienda system still being used despite the different laws passed by the Spanish crown more and more tillers were abused, exploited and deprived of their rights. The revolution of peasants and farmers in 1896 articulated their aspirations for agrarian reform and for a just society. Women also fought for freedom and played an important role in the planning and implementing the activities of the revolutionary movements.
The result of this revolution has made the government confiscate the large landed estates, especially the friar lands and declared these lands as properties of the government.(Malolos Constitution, 1896, Article XVII)
AMERICAN ERA (1898-1935)
Realizing that being landless was the main cause ofsocial unrest and revolt at that time, the Americans sought to put an end to the miserable conditions of the tenant tillers and small farmers by passing several land policies to widen the base of small landholdings and distribute land ownership among the greater number of Filipino tenants and farmers.
In connection to this, the Philippine Bill of 1902 was passed which provided regulations on the disposal of public lands wherein a private individual can own 16 hectares of land while the corporate land holdings can avail of 1, 024 hectares. This also gave the rights to the Americans to own agricultural lands.
The Torrens system of land registration was also introduced during the American colonial period. This was made to replace the registration system that was implemented by the Spaniards. The reason why they made a different system of registration was that some 400,000 native farmers were without titles at the start of the American era and this situation was also aggravated by the absence of records of issued titles and accurate land surveys.
The Land Registration Act of 1902 or Act No. 496 placed all private and public lands under Torrens system. While the Cadastral Act or Act No. 2259 speeds up the issuance of Torrens titles. This was done by surveying a municipality and presented the result to the land registration court.
A program called the Homestead Program was introduced in 1903 that allowed an enterprising tenant to acquire a farm of at least 16 hectares to cultivate. However, the program was not implemented nationwide and was introduced only in some parts of Mindanao and Northern Luzon, where there were available public alienable and disposable lands.
There are also other agrarian laws that were introduced during the American era like the First Public Land Act or Act No. 926 which provided rules and regulations for selling and leasing portions of the public domain, completing defective Spanish land titles, canceling, and confirming Spanish concessions. Another is the Second Public Land Act of 1919 or Act 2874 which limits the use of agricultural lands to Filipinos, Americans, and citizens of other countries. On the other hand, the Act No. 141 amended the Second Public Act of 1919 or Act No. 2874. The revision consists of a temporary provision of equality on the rights of American and Filipino citizens and corporations. It also compiled all pre-existing laws relative to public lands into a single instrument.
There is also the Friar Land Act or Act No. 1120 which provided the administrative and temporary leasing and selling of friar lands to its tillers. The first legislation regulating the relationships of landlord and tenants and the first law to legalize a 50-50 crop sharing arrangement was also introduced in the American era and is known as the Rice Share Tenancy Act of 1933 or Act No. 4054. There is also the Sugarcane Tenancy Contracts Act of 1933 or Act No. 4113 which regulated the relationship of landlord and tenants in the sugarcane fields and required tenancy contracts on land planted to sugarcane.
However, despite the different land policies passed during that time, the farmers’ situation did not improve at all. In fact, it further worsened the land ownership situation, where there was no limit on the size of landholdings one could possess. Landholdings were once again concentrated in the hands of fewer individuals who can afford to buy, register, and acquire fixed titles of their properties. Therefore, more lands were placed under tenancy.
As a result, there were widespread peasant uprisings, headed by the armed peasants’ groups known as Colorum and Sakdalistaof Luzon and Northeastern Mindanao respectively. These uprisings resulted to social disorder in 1920’s and 1930’s. Hence, more militant peasants and workers’ organizations bonded together for a more collective action against the abuses of landlords and unjust landownership situation. This gave birth to the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Commonwealth Years (1935-1942)
During these years the situation of land ownership and tenancy were characterized by the contrasting economic and political lifestyle between tenant and the landlord. Landlords became richer and powerful while the tenants were deprived of their rights, became poorer and absentee landowners increased. They preferred to go after new opportunities in the cities and left their farms idle to the management of “katiwalas”. As a result, haciendas were poorly and unjustly managed.
A small plot of land cultivated by an average peasant farmer could not sustain a decent living for his family. Tenants and farmers shouldered excessive fines, unfair taxation and usury. Systems for credit and marketing of rice were lacking thus, farmers received a very low selling price.
Consequently, peasant uprising became widespread all over the country.
As a response to these situations, the government under the stewardship of President Quezon realized that land reform programs should be implemented immediately. They saw the purchase of friar lands as a possible way to solve the problem of inequitable land ownership. They also saw that the Homestead program could be transformed into a massive resettlement program, if properly implemented.
During the Japanese occupation, peasants and workers organized the HUKBALAHAP (Hukbong Bayan Laban sa mga Hapon) on March 29, 1942 as an anti-Japanese group. They took over vast tracts of land and gave the land to the people.
For them, the war was a golden opportunity for people’s initiative to push pro-poor programs. Landlords were overpowered by the peasants but unfortunately at the end of the war, through the help of the military police and civilian guards, landlords were able to retrieve their lands from the HUKBALAHAP.
B. Evolution of Initiatives on Land Reform
Manuel L. Quezon (1935-1944)
Some of the Agrarian Reform laws were passed during the administration of Manuel L. Quezon:
RA 4054 or the Rice Tenancy Law was the first law on crop sharing which legalized the 50-50 share between landlord and tenant with corresponding support to tenants protecting them against abuses of landlords. However, this law was hardly implemented because most of the municipal councils were composed of powerful hacienderos and big landlords. In fact, only one municipality passed a resolution for its enforcement and majorities have petitioned its application to the Governor General.
The 1935 Constitution provided specific provisions on social justice and expropriation of landed estates for distribution to tenants as a solution to the land ownership and tenancy problems.
Commonwealth Act No. 461 specified that dismissal of a tenant should first have the approval of Tenancy Division of the Department of Justice.
Commonwealth Act No. 608 was enacted to establish security of tenure between landlord and tenant. It prohibited the common practice among landowners of ejecting tenants without clear legal grounds.
President Quezon’s program on land reform includes making a laid down social justice program that focused on the purchased of large haciendas which were divided and sold to tenants. This administration was also responsible in establishing the National Rice and Corn Corporation (NARICC) and assigning public defenders to assist peasants in court battles for their rights to till the land.
During this period, the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR) was set up to exercise jurisdiction over disagreements arising from agri-workers and landowner relationship. It was also during this time that the Rice Tenancy Act (Act No. 4054) was amended.
The Homestead Program continued through the creation of the National Land Settlement Administration (CA No. 441) and tenancy problems were covered through CA Nos. 461 and 608.
But the implementation of land reform during Quezon’s administration was hindered because of the budget allocation for the settlement program made it impossible for the program to succeed. Also most landlords did not comply with the Rice Share Tenancy Act. Widespread peasant uprising against abusive landlords also continued. In addition, the outbreak of the World War II put a stopped to the landownership and tenancy interventions during this period.
Manuel Roxas (1946-1948)
The Republic Act No. 34 was passed during the administration of Manuel Roxas and it enacted to establish a 70-30 sharing arrangement between tenant and landlord. The 70% of the harvest will go to the person who shouldered the expenses for planting, harvesting and for the work animals. With this, it reduced the interest of landowners’ loans to tenants at not more than 6%.
President Roxas also negotiated for the purchase of 8,000 hectares of lands in Batangas owned by the Ayala-Zobel family. These were sold to landless farmers.
However, due to lack of support facilities, the farmers were forced to resell their lands to the landowning class. This failure gave basis to doubt the real meaning of land reform program.
In Elpidio Quirino’s administrations, the Executive Order No. 355, the Land Settlement Development Corporation (LASEDECO) was established to accelerate and expand the peasant resettlement program of the government. However, due to limited post-war resources, the program was not successful.
C. Sowing the Seeds of Agrarian Reform through Stages
First Stage – Share Tenancy
When President Magsaysay was elected as the president of the country he realized the importance of pursuing a more honest-to-goodness land reform program. So he convinced the elite controlled congress to pass several legislation to improve the land reform situation in the county. Some of these are:
R.A. No. 1199 (1954): Agricultural Tenancy Act basically governed the relationship between landholders and tenant-farmers. This law helped protect the tenure rights of tenant tillers and enforced fair tenancy practices.
R.A. No. 1160 (1954): Free distribution of Resettlement and Rehabilitation and Agricultural land and an Act establishing the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA).
R.A. No. 1400 (1955): Land Reform Act or known as “Land to the Landless” Program which sought improvement in land tenure and guaranteed the expropriation of all tenanted landed estates.
R.A. No. 1266 (1955) Expropriation of Hacienda del Rosario, situated at Valdefuente, Cabanatuan City
He implemented the Agricultural Tenancy Act by establishing the Court of Agricultural Relations in 1955 to improve tenancy security, fix the land rentals on tenanted farms and to resolve the many land disputes filed by the landowners and peasant organizations.
He also created the Agricultural Tenancy Commission to administer problems arising from tenancy. Through this Commission 28,000 hectares were issued to settlers.
Under President Magsaysay the Agricultural Credit and Cooperative Financing Administration (ACCFA) was created. This is a government agency formed to provide warehouse facilities and assist farmers market their products and established the organization of the Farmers Cooperatives and Marketing Associations (FACOMAs).
With the passing of RA 1160 of 1954, President Magsaysay pursued the resettlement program through the National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Administration (NARRA). This law established the government’s resettlement program and accelerated the free distribution of agricultural lands to landless tenants and farmers. It particularly aimed to convince members of the HUKBALAHAP movement to return to a peaceful life by giving them home lots and farmlands.
This administration also spearheaded the establishment of the Agricultural and Industrial Bank to provide easier terms in applying for homestead and other farmland.
With all the programs and bills passed under his administration, out of the targeted 300 haciendas for distribution, only 41 were distributed after its 7 years of implementation. This was due to lack of funds and inadequate support services provided for these programs.
As a result, landlords continued to be uncooperative and critical to the program and landownership and tenancy problems continued.
Carlos P. Garcia (1957-1961)
There was no legislation passed in Carlos Garcia’s term but he continued to implement the land reform programs of President Magsaysay.
Second Stage – Agricultural Leasehold
It was during Diosdado Macapagal that the Agricultural Land Reform Code or RA No. 3844 was enacted, more specifically on August 8, 1963. This was considered to be the most comprehensive piece of agrarian reform legislation ever enacted in the country that time. Because of this, President Diosdado Macapagal was considered as the “Father of Agrarian Reform.”
The RA No. 3844 was considered as such because this Act abolished share tenancy in the Philippines. It prescribed a program converting the tenant farmers to lessees and eventually into owner-cultivators. Moreover, it aimed to free tenants from the bondage of tenancy and gave hope to poor Filipino farmers to own the land they are tilling. Finally, it emphasized owner-cultivator relationship and farmer independence, equity, productivity improvement and the public distribution of land.
However, the landed Congress did not provide effort to come up with a separate bill to provide funding for its implementation. The act was piloted in the provinces of Pangasinan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Sur and Misamis Oriental. It acquired a total of 18,247.06 hectares or 99.29% out of the total scope of 18,377.05 hectares. The program benefited 7,466 farmer beneficiaries. (BLAD-DAR Official Records)
Third Stage – Full Ownership
Ferdinand E. Marcos(1965-1986)
When President Marcos assumed office, he immediately directed the massive implementation of the leasehold phase of the land reform program by signing into law the Code of Agrarian Reforms in the Philippines or RA No. 6389 and its companion bill RA No. 6390. The Code of Agrarian Reforms or RA No. 6389 governed the implementation of the agrarian reform in the Philippines. This law instituted the Code of Agrarian Reforms and significantly amended several provisions of Agricultural Land Reform Code or RA 3844 of President Macapagal. It created the Department of Agrarian Reform, a separate administrative agency for agrarian reform, replacing the Land Authority.
RA 6390 was enacted to accelerate the implementation of the of the agrarian reform program in the fields of land acquisition and agricultural credit. Through the Code, an AR Special Account in the General Fund was created that exclusively finance the agrarian reform program.
The core of the Agrarian Reform Program of President Marcos was Presidential Decree No. 2, proclaiming the entire country as a land reform area and Presidential Decree No. 27, decreeing the emancipation of tenants from the bondage of soil, transferring to them the ownership of the land they till and providing the needed instruments and mechanisms. This law provided for tenanted lands devoted to rice and corn to pass ownership to the tenants. It also lowered the ceilings for landholdings to 7 hectares. The law stipulated that share tenants who worked from a landholding of over 7 hectares could purchase the land they tilled, while share tenants on land less than 7 hectares would become leaseholders.
This agrarian reform program was designed to uplift the farmers from poverty and ignorance and to make them useful, dignified, responsible and progressive partners in nation-building. This AR program was a package of services extended to farmers in the form of credit support, infrastructure, farm extension, legal assistance, electrification and development of rural institutions.
President Marcos’ Agrarian Reform Program is characterized by five major components and these are Land Tenure Program, Institutional Development, Physical Development, Agricultural Development, and Human Resources.
The Agrarian Reform Programs was also labeled as “revolutionary” by some sectors because it was pursued under Martial Law and intended to make quick changes without going through legislative or technical processes and another reason is that it was the only law in the Philippines ever done in handwriting.
Nevertheless, the program also posed some limitations which includes limited scope of the program since it was only directed for the tenanted, privately-owned rice and corn lands; there was monopoly of businessmen in both coconut and sugar industries; foreign and local firms were allowed to use large tracks of land for their business; and because of the declaration of Martial Law several farmer leaders were arrested without due process of law.
D. Fulfilling the Promise of Full Ownership through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
Corazon C. Aquino(1986-1992)
The 1987 Philippine Constitution set the direction of agrarian reform in the Aquino administration. The 1987 Constitution affirmed that “The State shall promote comprehensive rural development and agrarian reform.’ (Article 2, Section 21)
When President Cory Aquino seated as the President of the country, several legislations and issuances on Agrarian Reform were passed. Some of them are:
Proclamation 131instituted the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as a major program of the government. It provided for a special fund known as the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF) in the amount of 50 billion pesos to cover the estimated cost of the program for the period 1987-1997.
EO 129-Areorganized the Department of Agrarian Reform and expanded in power and operations. It is known that the record and legacy of the Aquino Administration in Agrarian Reform is the Executive Summary, Planning Service, and DAR.
EO 228 declared full ownership of the land to qualified farmer-beneficiaries covered by PD 27. It also regulated the value of remaining rice and corn lands for coverage provided for the manner of payment by the farmer-beneficiaries and the mode of compensation to the landowners.
EO 229 provided the administrative processes for land registration or LISTASAKA program, acquisition of private land and compensation procedures for landowners. It specified the structure and functions of units that will coordinate and supervise the implementation of the program.
RA 6657 or Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law is an act instituting a comprehensive agrarian reform program to promote social justice and Industrialization, providing the mechanism for its implementation and for other purposes.
To strengthen CARP and fast track its implementation, President Aquino issued the following Executive Orders (EO):
E.O. No. 405 gave the Land Bank of the Philippines the primary responsibility for the land valuation function in order for DAR to concentrate its efforts on the identification of landholdings and beneficiaries, the distribution of acquired lands, and the other sub-components of the program.
E.O. No. 406 emphasized that CARP is central to the government’s efforts to hasten countryside agro-industrial development and directed the implementing agencies to align their respective programs and projects with CARP.
This created CARP implementing teams from the national to the municipal levels and gave priority to 24 strategic operating provinces where the bulk of CARP workload lies.
E.O. No. 407 directed all government financing institutions (GFIs) and government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) to immediately transfer to DAR all their landholdings suitable for agriculture.
E.O. No. 448pursued the policy that government should lead the efforts in placing lands for coverage under CARP. It directed the immediate turn-over of government reservations, no longer needed, and that are suitable for agriculture.
Some of the accomplishments achieved during the Aquino administration with regards to the implementation of the Agrarian Reform Programs are the grants and budgetary support from official development assistance (ODA) circles poured in during this administration. Various sectors likewise recognized agrarian reform as a worthwhile social investment. In terms of the tenant-tiller status, it improved particularly those within landowners’ retained areas or on landholdings subject for coverage.
It is also during this administration that the present adjudication system was introduced. This gave DAR the original and exclusive jurisdiction over agrarian disputes as quasi-judicial powers.
Also, the livelihood and agro-industrial projects promoted and the program of support services were intensified to help farmer beneficiaries become productive and transform them into entrepreneurs.
The administration received much support and active involvement in program implementation from key stakeholders such as people’s organization, farmer’s association, NGO’s and from prominent landowners themselves.
On the other hand, the administration also face challenges in the implementation of CARP for example on land evaluation, one very specific case is the Garchitorena land scam. There were also issues on the absence of a clear cut guideline that would answer problems on land use conversion. Minimal efforts were exerted to discouraged and/or prevent conversion of lands into other use.
Despite the Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF), the administration experienced a major budgetary shortfall due to low remittances from the Asset Privatization Trust and the Presidential Commission on Good Government.
The administration also experienced constant changes in DAR leadership. This led to lack of continuity of priority, programs and projects.
Allegation on lack of political wills leadership and genuine commitment to implement the program. Critics say that the President could have implemented a genuine agrarian reform program because of her revolutionary powers after People Power I.
Fidel V. Ramos(1992-1998)
The Ramos administration is recognized for bringing back support of key stakeholders of CARP by bridging certain policy gaps on land acquisition and distribution, land evaluation, and case resolution. It is also credited for enhancing internal operating systems and strengtheningthe capabilities of the DAR bureaucracy and for tapping more resources to help implement the program.
During this time guidelines and procedures were formulated to facilitate acquisition and distribution of lands:
DAR AO No. 2 (1992) consists of rules and procedures governing the distribution of cancelled or expired pasture lease agreements and Timber License Agreements under EO 407.
DAR AO No. 1 (1993) is the amendment to certain provisions of the Administrative Order No. 9 Series of 1990, entitled “Revised Rules and Regulations Governing the Acquisition of Agricultural Lands Subject of Voluntary Offer to Sell and Compulsory Acquisition Pursuant to RA 6657.”
Joint DAR-LBP AO No. 3 (1994) is the policy guidelines and procedures governing the acquisition and distribution of agricultural lands affected by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.
DAR AO No. 1 (1995) consists of the rules and procedures governing the Acquisition and Distribution of all Agricultural Lands Subject of Sequestration/Acquisition by the PCGG and APT whose ownership in Under Court Litigation.
DAR AO No. 2 (1995) is the revised rules and procedures governing the Acquisition of Private Agricultural Lands Subject of Voluntary Land Transfer or a Direct Payment Scheme (VLT/DPS) Pursuant to RA 6657.
DAR AO No. 2 (1996) is the rules and regulations governing the Acquisition of Agricultural Lands subject of Voluntary Offer to Sell and Compulsory Acquisition Pursuant to RA 6657.
DAR AO No. 2 (1997) is the rules and regulations for the Acquisition of Private Agricultural Lands Subject of Mortgage or Foreclosure of Mortgage.
DAR AO No. 8 (1997) is the revised guidelines on the Acquisition and Distribution of Compensable Agricultural Lands under VLT/Direct Payment Scheme.
DAR MC No. 7 (1993) refers to the implementing guidelines on the Distribution and Tilling of the Public Agricultural Lands turned over by the National Livelihood and Support Fund to the DAR for distribution under the CARP pursuant to EO 407, Series of 1990 as amended by EO 448, Series of 1991 and as clarified under Memorandum Order No. 107 of the President of the Philippines dated March 23, 1993.
Despite all of these, there are challenges that the administration faced during implementation of the program. One of which is the failure in enforcing the installation of some farmer beneficiaries on awarded lands. Critics also say that “non-physical installation of FBs has been the norm rather than the exception.
Some sectors also complained on the slowness of this administration in the acquisition and distribution of privately owned lands. Although this administration was credited for having the biggest accomplishment in terms of LAD, critics say this is because the land acquired and distributed were more on public lands and rice and corn lands.
Joseph Ejercito Estrada (1998-2001)
During this administration the Magkabalikat Para sa kaunlarang Agraryo (MAGKASAKA) which was launched which is directed for the investors to bring in capital, technology and management support while the farmers will contribute, at most, the use of their land itself.
The MAGKASAKA aims to encourage investors to bring investments into the countryside and to enhance the income of the farmers through joint venture schemes and contract growing schemes. The program also aims to enable the farmers to be more efficient and be globally competitive.
This administration saw the urgency of land distribution, and believed that it can be served if it is built on farmers’ capacities to pursue their own development. One of the first things this administration did was to rework performance targets – by focusing on the number of hectares of land distributed coupled with an accounting of farmer beneficiaries and the specific croplands and farm systems covered. This approach sought to integrate land distribution and support services. It was during this period that DAR launched a series of land occupations by working with farmer claimants, the LGU and government security forces.
To help speed up litigation, DAR also helped set up the agrarian justice fund for farmer beneficiaries as well as DAR field workers who, due to the nature of the job, are named as respondents in cases filed by recalcitrant landowners. Support services took a much more entrepreneurial approach during this administration. Sustainable rural development district program, were designed to help farmers attain a level of economic viability.
It has forged alliances among countries implementing AR through the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. The department then began aggressively to assert its place in national development planning processes to raise DAR’s profile both in national and international fora. With this, DAR was able to secure a seat in the annual consultative group meeting between the Philippines’s economic management team and the donor community. This period also launched the DAR-DA-DENR convergence initiative.
But there were also some hindrances that the administration faced like the fiscal constraints encountered that resulted to unpaid or delayed payment of landowners covered under the compulsory acquisition and VOS schemes.
There were also issues on inter and intra ARBs conflicts due to arguments for control over negotiations with prospective joint venture partners, some of which became violent.
Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo(2001 – 2010)
The GMA administration has adopted the BAYAN-ANIHAN concept as the implementing framework for CARP. Bayan means people and Anihan means harvest and Bayanihan means working together. Applied to CARP, Bayan Anihan means a united people working together for the successful implementation of agrarian reform.
The Bayan-Anihan Framework has different implementing strategies namely:
Salin-Lupa: Accelerating land transfer and improving land tenure.
Katarungan: Prompt and fair settlement of agrarian disputes and delivery of agrarian reform justice.
Bayanihan: Better delivery by the government of appropriate support services to ARBs and the mobilization of the ARBs themselves in the transformation of the agrarian reform communities into an agrarian reform zones and into progressive farming.
Kabayanihan or the Konsehong Bayan Para sa Anihan: Institutionalization not only of the system of dialogue and consultation but also joint problem solving with AR stakeholders, particularly people’s organizations, cooperatives and NGOs.
Kamalayan: Raising the awareness of DAR personnel, agrarian reform beneficiaries and the general public on agrarian reform and its contribution to social justice and development.
Under Arroyo’s administration introduced the Kapit Bisig sa Kahirapan Agrarian Reform Zones (KARZONEs) as a program strategy of the DAR in CARP Implementation. KARZONEs is a partnership and convergence strategy aimed at achieving asset reform, poverty reduction, food sufficiency, farm productivity, good governance, social equity and empowerment of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) both in ARCs and non-ARCs.
Other specific programs under this administration to enhance CARP were also implemented like the Gulayan Magsasakang Agraryo. This intends to add income and food security to farmers and their communities. Educational opportunities were also ushered in to farmer’s children and dependents through the Diosdado Macapagal Scholar Program.
This administration is also credited in heightening agrarian case resolution by introducing a quota system to compel adjudicators to work faster on agrarian cases and train farmers into paralegals.
Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III(2010–up to present)
Under the governance of President Noynoy Aquino, the DAR which is the lead agency for CARP implementation is bent on sustaining the gains of agrarian reform through its three major components– Land Tenure Improvement (LTI), Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) and Agrarian Justice Delivery (AJD). The following are the strategic directions of the Aquino Administration for the agrarian reform program:
To substantially complete asset reform as mandated by R.A. No. 9700 by:
1. Completing the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) or Republic Act 9700 balance through: Focus on large-sized private agricultural lands; Redeployment of competent DAR personnel to the 20 high LAD provinces; Streamline LAD processes and procedures; and Enhance the database of landholdings for ease in targeting and monitoring the LAD;
2. Prioritizing the subdivision of collective Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) involving LBP-compensable lands;
3. Fast tracking the documentation and settlement of landowner compensation for already distributed lands;
4. Synergizing and rationalizing the efforts of the CARP implementing agencies in all processes of LAD;
5. Partnering with the civil society organizations (CSOs) in the delivery of LTI services, particularly the large-sized private agricultural lands (PAL);
6. Adopting a job-sharing scheme wherein under the ONE-DAR concept, provinces will share responsibilities (low-LAD provinces with high LAD provinces) to minimize the need to hire new personnel; and
7. Increasing the utilization of the services of geodetic engineers to assist the provincial and municipal offices in land acquisition considering the difficulty of hiring new personnel and the demands of a post-2014 scenario.
Under President Aquino’s administration, the DAR’s Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) priorities are geared in:
1. Undertaking convergence initiatives with rural development agencies to complement the resources and streamline the efforts of DAR, DA and DENR;
2. Inking public-private partnerships (PPPs) develop models of collaboration and business models in AR areas with the participations of the CSOs, academe, research and development institutions and LGUs;
3. Expanding official development assistance (ODA) portfolio in order to augment incomes for PBD;
4. Integrating LTI and PBD on a province-to-province basis;
5. Shifting focus of low-LAD balance provinces to PBD; and
6. Unlocking credit facilities for the agrarian reform beneficiaries through capacity development for credit providers and farmer-borrowers.
To speed up resolution of AR related cases, the Agrarian Justice Delivery component is geared at:
1. Putting the legal framework in place to expedite the LAD process and undertake PBD lawyering to ensure ARBs’ free and informed consent on agribusiness agreements;
2. Developing common templates and legal outlines in order to rationalize the DAR lawyers’ and paralegals’ appreciation and decision on cases;
3. Improving the capabilities of DAR lawyers and legal officers; and
4. Utilizing information, communication technology (ICT) to enhance legal work.
Together with the efforts to fight graft and corruption by the President, it is imperative to have institutional reforms within DAR as a complement to the abovementioned DAR components as well as give credence, transparency and accountability at all sectors of the DAR bureaucracy.