CARP implementers told to be more circumspect in distributing farmlands

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GRAGEDA WEB“THE NUMBER game is over. Let’s buckle down to work.”

Thus, said Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jose Grageda as he pressed field implementers to see to it that farmer-beneficiaries would gain complete ownership and possession of the lands to be awarded to them.

Grageda stressed that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is not merely a number game, referring to the attainment of the annual target of farmlands to be distributed to landless farmers.
The Undersecretary for Field Operations stressed that accomplishing the goal – the number of hectares of farmland set for distribution each year – doesn’t mean anything if the beneficiaries would not be able to gain actual ownership and full control of the awarded farmlands.

Some farmer-beneficiaries were often left seeing their supposedly newly acquired farm lots from a distance because of the reported continued harassment and intimidation of the former landowners.

web cbcp bldgGrageda advised CARP field implementers to act with prudence, taking into account the existing rules and regulations. He urged them “to observe the norms of high standards that are fair to both major stakeholders – the landowners and the prospective agrarian reform beneficiaries.”

“In this manner, the DAR will be able to avoid conflicts and prevent wasting time and resources,” he said in the “National Orientation on the Preparation of DAR’s Indicative Plan and Budget Proposal for 2016” in Davao City.

To do this, Grageda said, there should be an equitable ratio of quantity and quality with a clear identification of specific landholdings targeted for acquisition and distribution.

He also emphasized the need to conduct province-wide farmer-beneficiary identification in plantation farms or haciendas, simultaneously with segregation, land use surveys, and clustering of certain landholdings by geographical location.

He added that field implementers should closely “monitor the use of fund for land acquisition and distribution, and devise more efficient and effective ways of making things happen by setting definite timelines for completion of the mandated activities.” (RS Maala)