AGRARIAN Reform legal consultant Aison Garcia lauded various organizations of farmers and indigenous peoples for their passion, unity and efforts in finding solutions to their problems on human rights and land problems.
“The government appreciates the big support of various sectors in helping the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) fast-track land acquisition and distribution, especially in provinces with problematic landholdings and resistant landowners,” Garcia said during the “Breaking the Barriers to Peace Forum-Workshop” sponsored by the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) held recently at the Cocoon Hotel in Quezon City.
“The DAR needs more community organizers to help us efficiently implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Programs (CARP). CARP is not just about rewarding agricultural lands, it also provide its beneficiaries with necessary support services,” Garcia said.
The forum-workshop, dubbed as “Laying Justice on the Ground: Moving from Land Disputes to Land/Domain Rights and Peace,” tackled various issues and explored various ways of finding solutions to the farmers’ and indigenous peoples’ various problems on human and land rights violations.
Former Quezon Province Representative Oscar “Ka Oca” Santos said he believes that a government supported by its people would surely succeed on its objective.
“Last year, around 800 farmers received certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) in Bondoc Peninsula. With the unity of the farmers to let their voices be heard, the DAR spared no effort to realize their dreams in spite of the resistance of influential and rich landowners in this area,” Santos said.
Bondoc Peninsula is tagged as hotbed of agrarian conflict in Southern Tagalog.
The forum-workshop was also attended by other government officials from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Department of Justice (DoJ) and leaders from farmers and indigenous peoples’ sectors.