DAR needs farmers to expedite land distribution

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gragedaAGRARIAN Reform Undersecretary Jose Grageda underscored the need to get the farmers involved to speed up implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“We need to tap the services of our farmer-beneficiaries and equip them with necessary skills to assist the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) personnel in fast-tracking land acquisition and distribution, especially in provinces with problematic landholdings,” Grageda said during the “Breaking the Barriers to Peace Forum-Workshop” sponsored by the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court (PCICC) on November 12, 2013 at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City.

Last year, the DAR entered into partnership with various farmer-groups to train their farmers to become paralegals. These farmers’ groups decide whom to be trained to among their members to acquire fundamental skills in legal research, interviews, evidence gathering and documentation, hopeful that they would be able to stand up for their rights as well as for their fellow beneficiaries.

Grageda told the participating farmers in the workshop that aside from distributing lands, the DAR also sees to it that farmer-beneficiaries are installed in their newly acquired land and provided with the necessary support services.

The forum-workshop, dubbed as “Agenda for Protection, Peace and Solidarity,” tackled various issues and finding solutions to the farmers and indigenous peoples’ problems on human and land rights violations.

National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) Secretary Joel Rocamora advised the farmers to develop effective tactical plans in dealing with the issues and concerns confronting them and find a way to bring the same to the attention of the government and public/private stakeholders.

ld1The 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.