SAN FERNANDO CITY, April 24 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is pushing for the passage of a new agrarian reform law that seeks to defend and assert the rights of farmers.In the recent four-day live-in Nationwide Communication Performance and Planning Workshop of the DAR in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, the regional information officers were oriented on the new branding of their Department which is “genuine agrarian reform (GAR).”
Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan, chief of the for Legal Affairs Office of DAR, said the GAR under House Bill 555 or the Agrarian Reform Bill sets apart the current DAR leadership from the previous administrations.
DAR is headed by Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano who spent nine years in Congress pushing for the enactment of HB 555.
“Ang ating kalihim ay naiiba sa pinalitan niya. Kung ang mga nagdaang Kalihim ay naghahanda sa paglilibing ng isang programa, ang kasalukuyang Kalihim ay naghahanda sa pagpapalakas ng isang bagong silang na programa. Isang programang nakabatay sa Saligang Batas,” Pangulayan said.
He also reiterated that the Department is dealing with a “revolutionary agenda” of giving land to the landless and based on the Constitution, the primary business of the DAR is to “make sure that the tiller or the farm worker becomes the owner of the land he or she tills.”
Pangulayan furthered that Ka Paeng is determined to lobby for HB 555 as it “addresses the limitations of agrarian reform laws which are the Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as amended by RA 9700.
“The new agrarian reform law seeks to correct agrarian reform implementation through the years,” said Pangulayan.
With HB 555, Pangulayan urged their RIOs, as the modern propagandist of the DAR, to come up with an effective communication plan to advocate it to all sectors of the society, most especially to the farmer-beneficiaries.
“Let us be the advocates. That is our role for the next six years Prepare yourselves, you RIOs. Nakasalalay po sa inyo ang aktibong kampanya. Sana maisapuso nyo ang katungkulan po ninyo at uusad tayo bilang Kagawaran,” he said.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary Sylvia Mallari, chief of the Foreign Assisted and Support Projects Office (FASPO), said that the recent national event of their Department is imperative.
“With the new core values, thrust, and policy directions in the context of Genuine Agrarian Reform under the leadership of Sec. Mariano, this gathering of the RIOs is very important for us to level off and create one framework and direction, so the whole Department will march forward whether Ka Paeng will stay as head for one year of if he finishes his six-year term,” Mallari said.
She likewise underscored that they must make most of their time to unite on what they want to do, what must be the right thing to do given their framework, and to really work as one for their primary audience which is the farmer-beneficiaries.
The four-day event facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency was aimed for the participants to come up with a national communication plan to advocate the new branding of DAR.
DAR is the lead implementing agency of CARP. It undertakes land tenure improvement, development of program beneficiaries, and agrarian justice delivery. (JNPD/PIA-1)