DIPOLOG CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-Zamboanga del Nortecelebrated the7thanniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) on Friday, August 5, 2016 at Bamboo Garden, this city.
With the theme “Kabukiranatingpagyamanin para sabawatmamamayan,”the celebration kicked off thru a press conference with Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO-II) Mohammad Dassan J. Adju, PARPO I Rizzel B. Villanueva, DAR Employees Association Vice President Anne AndresitaAgura, other DAR officials and the local media.
CARPER was created pursuant to Republic Act (RA) No. 9700 amending RA 6657 signed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2009 with the aim of an equitable distribution and ownership of land, with due regard to the rights of landowners to just compensation, retention rights and ecological needs of the nation.
“The Department of Agrarian Reform does not only implement CARP, but we also have other programs and functions towards sound rural development,” Adju said during the presscon.
He added that their department has adopted two approaches: the area-focus and people approach in terms of their implementation of programs and projects.
DAR emphasized that there’s a paradigm shift of rural development in the countryside.
“Our focusnow is more on agri-enterprise development unlike before we concentrated on infrastructure. Because after all,how will the roads and bridges help the community if there’s no economic activity in such area and the people will remain poor,” Villanueva stressed.
Meanwhile, DAR-ZN said that the new DAR Secretary Rafael V. Mariano is supporting the enactment of House Bill 555 known as Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) determined to defend and assert the rights of farmers which will enable them to acquire lands for free or at a lesser cost.
This bill aims to institutionalize a systematic program of state support and subsidy to land reform beneficiaries in all the important aspects of agricultural production, including the promotion of cooperatives.