The resolution directs the Committee to conduct an inquiry on the status of implementation of Republic Act 9700 (RA 9700) or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) Act.
The public hearing was facilitated by Committee chairperson and Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat, Jr., together with Committee members Bukidnon Rep. Maria Lourdes Acosta-Alba, co-author of HR 382, and Abante Mindanao (ABAMIN) Party-list Rep. Maximo Rodriguez.
DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Jose Grageda led the DAR officials and staff who attended the public hearing.
PUBLIC, PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION
DAR-Region 9 Regional Director Felix Aguhob, DAR-Region 10 Asst. Regional Director Teresita Depeñoso, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officers Norberto Paquingan of Bukidnon, Zoraida Macadindang of Misamis Oriental and Camiguin, Jamil Amatonding of Lanao del Norte, and Alibasa Andig of Misamis Occidental were also present.
The participants in the public hearing included representatives from the national and local government agencies, Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee, 19 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) from Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, academe, students, landowners’ groups and peoples’ organizations.
CARP AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
In her opening message, Rep. Acosta-Alba said that the CARP is a mandate of social justice and it will put to an end the centuries-long semi-feudal economic relationship in the countryside.
During the public hearing, Rep. Baguilat stressed that the purpose of the public hearing is to determine whether or not to extend CARP.
He then said that there is also a bill establishing agricultural venture agreements which creates entrepreneurial collaboration between the ARBOs and private investors in the establishment of agriculture-related business ventures involving lands distributed under CARP.
EQUAL LAND DISTRIBUTION
Usec. Grageda said that government intervention is needed in order to make land, the most valuable resource in the Philippines, equitably distributed to the people.
Regarding concerns on CARP’s expiration, Grageda said that there is a provision in RA 9700 that if the process for distribution of land has begun, it will continue even beyond 2014.
Many of the ARBOs present expressed their full support for the extension of CARP, citing the need to distribute the remaining lands under the law, as well as to provide more support services through the Agrarian Reform Community Connectivity and Economic Support Services such as farming equipment, harvest facilities and farm-to-market roads, among others.