DAR Region XI Opens Grounds For Farmers’ Campout

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news national 2 pix 1 jan. 26 2017DAVAO CITY, Jan. 26 – Nearly 1,000 farmers, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers from Southern Mindanao set up camp at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region XI compound as part of the four-day protest for food, land and justice from January 24-27.

Estimates show that almost 5,000 farmers, despite being affected by calamities in the past week, trooped to key areas in Davao City to bring to light their issues on land disputes.
news national 2 pix 2 jan. 26 2017Heeding the open-door policy of DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, Regional Director John Maruhom said farmers are always welcome at the DAR Region XI office.

Last Jan. 13, Maruhom hosted more than 300 farmers from the Arakan town of North Cotabato for a dialogue regarding the struggle for the installation of occupants of the lands previously covered by the University of Southern Mindanao reservation.

The regional head also augmented the compound’s security to ensure the safety of the farmers. “We coordinated with the Philippine National Police to make sure there (is) no third party that will be disturbing the campout,” he added.

Mariano is set to have a dialogue with the Southern Mindanao farmers today to talk about the calls for land tenure and ownership, and discuss the plans of DAR for genuine agrarian reform.

Known as the “Kampuhan sa mga Mag-uuma,” the farmers’ campout also supports the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines where issues on agrarian reform, national industrialization and foreign policy are of the utmost priority.