COTABATO CITY, Oct. 7 – Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary Atty. David Erro led the discussion on the genuine agrarian reform (GAR) with almost 300 Moro farmers from the peasant organization, Suara Bangsamoro (Voice of the Moro People).
Many Moro farmers, or “talyawid” in Maguindanaon, remain landless due to the operations of large corporate agricultural plantations and presence of large-scale mining and logging companies, according to Suara Bangsamoro President Amirah Ali Lidasan.
Under GAR, agricultural lands all over the country will be distributed to Filipino farmers, rural workers, and indigenous people for free. The program also aims to end land monopoly while providing an integrated and holistic program of support services for farmers.
“Ownership and control of the land should be in the hands of the farmers where they can directly cultivate and benefit from,” attorney Erro added.
A study by the peasant organization Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) reveals that seven out of 10 farmers remain landless. More than 9,000 landlords own more than 20 percent of all agricultural lands or approximately 2,820,000 hectares in the country.
Attorney Erro explained that agrarian reform would pave the ground for the advent of genuine social justice. “Since the tillers of the soil or the direct producers do not own the land they work on, there results a situation that subjects them to exploitative and, therefore, inequitable work conditions and relations.”
The event also served as the general assembly of Suara Bangsamoro where talyawid leaders voiced out their concerns regarding land use in moro communities. Members of the organization, along with the Lumad and other peasant groups, will then join the month-long Lakbayan 2016 in Manila this October to voice outtheir issues to the government.
Photo 1: Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary David Erro presents the policy thrust and direction of Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano’s administration in front of almost 300 Moro farmers in Cotabato City.
Photo 2: The presentation on genuine agrarian reform is organized by DAR and the Philippine Information Agency for the peasant organization Suala Bangsamoro (Voice of the Moro People). Moro farmers or “talyawid” in Maguindanaon, earlier consolidated their issues on land use and ownership to present it to President Rodrigo Duterte for their Lakbayan in Manila later this week.