Welcome to DAR Region XI



Duterte instructs DAR to confer with Davao farmers on AVAs

news reg 1 pix 1 march 252017TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte (March 25, 2017)—President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council Executive Committee (PARC Excom) to meet with agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) belonging to three cooperatives and help them resolve their problems arising from the agri-business venture agreements (AVAs) they have entered into with banana business giant Marsman Estate Plantation, Inc. (MEPI).

DAR Undersecretary David Erro, who is also Council Secretary of PARC said the ARBs’ main problem is the revocation of the lease AVA between MEPI and the Davao Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (Damarbdevco), Sto. Tomas Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (Starbenco) and the Sto. Tomas Individual Farming Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (Sifarbco).

The lease AVA was approved for revocation by the PARC on September 12, 2016 due to complaints by the ARBs/cooperatives against MEPI for gross violations of several provisions of the contract of lease.

AVAs are contracts entered into by an ARB or group of ARBs, on one hand, and an investor, on the other, which involve the possession of the land; distribution of the produce of the land, and commitment of the owners to produce certain crops.

Erro said the President, who is also the PARC Chairperson, approved the revocation of the lease AVA because of his desire to help the poor farmers. “He [the President] did not renege and stands by his decision in the revocation of the AVA. But because he is fair and considerate, the President instructed us to hear the request of parties who want to continue their AVA with MEPI.”news reg 1 pix 2 march 25 2017

Dialogue with the cooperatives

As instructed by the President, the DAR led by Erro and Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar yesterday conducted a dialogue with ARBs belonging to Damarbdevco, Starbenco and Sifarbco.

Risonar said the President instructed the DAR to allow those ARBs/cooperatives who want to get out of the contract. He stressed that all the parties must be given the right to be heard and to guide the ARBs in coming up with their respective decisions on whether or not they shall opt to continue with the lease AVA with MEPI or enter into growership agreement or any other agreement that they want.

At the dialogue with the ARBs of the three cooperatives, Risonar said the Damarbdevco wants a “win-win” solution where they shall continue their relationship with MEPI under a separate agreement. They also want a favorable lease or growership agreement subject to a decision by the cooperative via a general assembly.

“The Starbenco group, at present is not the ones cultivating their lands. They wish to take possession of, be installed in and cultivate individually their respective landholdings. Its members expressed capability to cultivate and manage their farms and market their produce,” Risonar said.

He said the Starbenco group prefers individual farming and to enter into a growership arrangement with other corporations and not with MEPI.

Meanwhile Sifarbco also requests for physical possession of their respective property to cultivate and manage their landholdings by themselves.

“Sifarbco’s position is to enter into a growership arrangement, but not with MEPI. They said they are capable of producing, managing and marketing their produce,” Risonar said.

Next steps

news reg 1 pix 3 march 25 2017“Now that we know the position of each cooperative with regard to their AVA with MEPI, the DAR and the PARC Excom will now formulate transition plans which would include provision of support services for ARBs among others,” said Erro.

Erro said the result of consultation with the three cooperatives would be presented to the President on the next PARC meeting on March 30, 2017.  ###

Photo 1: DAR Undersecretary and Council Secretary of PARC David Erro assured the farmers of support from the DAR. Also in the panel from left to right: DAR-11 Assistant Regional Director Venchito Mandap, Regional Director Joseph Orilla, Erro, Undersecretary Marcos Risonar and PARC Secretariat Director James Arsenio Ponce.

Photo 2: A farmer-beneficiary showed to Erro where his lot is in the map. Looking on are DAR-11 Assistant Regional Director Venchito Mandap, Regional Director Joseph Orilla, and PARC Secretariat Director James Arsenio Ponce.

Photo 3: The ARBs belonging to the Davao Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (Damarbdevco), Sto. Tomas Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (Starbenco) and the Sto. Tomas Individual Farming Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (Sifarbco) pose for a photo with the DAR officials and the PARC Secretariat.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Murdered peasants in 2017 now 12

news reg 5 pix 1 march 3 2017The number of peasants killed in 2017 rose to 12 when two more farmers were murdered in Compostela town of Compostela Valley province yesterday, Mar. 2.

According to reports received by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), 55-year-old Leonela Tapdasan Pesadilla and 59-year-old Ramon Dagaas Pesadilla were gunned down inside their home at 9 p.m. by two unknown men. Neighbors saw the attackers forcibly enter their house and immediately fire guns at them.

The victims were identified as donors of the parcel of land where a Salugpungan Ta’Tanu Igkanugon (STTI) Learning Center currently stands. STTI, which means “Unity of People to Defend the Ancestral Land” in Manobo, is a Lumad school in Spur Dos, Barangay Ngan.

Both Leonela and Ramon are also members of local farmers’ organization Compostela Farmers Association (CFA) and residents of a Gawad Kalinga Housing Project in Barangay Osmeña. The CFA has been a staunch supporter of the banana farmers in Tagum City.

They have joined the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association, Inc. (MARBAI) in reclaiming the 145-hectare banana plantation from the Lapanday Foods Corp. since December 2016.

DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano condemns the recent spate of farmers’ killings and has ordered the DAR offices in all of the involved regions to resolve the agrarian disputes in the area.

Mariano assures farmers that the department is laying down all appropriate measures to settle the land problems and prevent further injuries and casualties.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

Mariano: Resolve land disputes in Davao

news reg  2 pix 1 feb. 20 2017Following the murder of a peasant-activist last Feb. 16 in Compostela Valley, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has ordered its regional office in Davao to resolve the land disputes in all highly-contested landholdings in the area to deter further attacks on farmers and give justice to the victims of exploitation and abuse.

Local farmers’ group put forth reports of two unidentified men riding a motorcycle shooting 45-year-old Edwin Catog while he was on his way to buy fish, marking the 2nd killing of peasants in 2017. Catog came from his house in Pantukan town when the riding-in-tandem stopped him along a highway intersection.

Mariano expressed his condolences to the family of the victim as he ordered the appropriate actions to prevent further injuries. Last Feb. 11, a farmer from President Roxas town in Capiz was also killed and four others were injured when gunmen fired gunshots at the group Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) holders due to a land dispute in an agrarian reform-covered land.

Catog was identified as a member of the Hugpong sa mga Mag-uuma sa Walog Compostela and a supporter of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Inc. (MARBAI) in Tagum City.

Reports received by DAR reveal that colleague Hector Buscayno mentioned their involvement in the fight of the Tagum farmers as the probable motive for the killing. Catog joined the farmers’ campout protest late last year for two weeks to support the peasant struggle for land and justice, according to MARBAI President Mely Yu.

Furthermore, initial investigations show that Catog is not in possession of any prime properties and is not in conflict with other farmers. Both Buscayno and Catog were interrogated by alleged goons of agribusiness firm Lapanday Foods Corp. last Dec. 21 after they joined the picket inside the banana plantation.

Members of MARBAI have been staging a campout protest to reclaim the 145-hectare farm from Lapanday. Despite a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) issued by DAR Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano last Dec. 16, the farmers’ encampment has been the subject of several attacks by the company’s security guards.

Almost 100 MARBAI farmers are currently protesting outside the plantation after they were forcibly evicted from their landholdings almost two months ago. They have joined forces with members of Hijo Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative-B (HARBCO-B) and the Guhusnong Mag-uuma Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Inc. (GMARBAI) against the landgrabber-oligarch corporation.

In a dialogue in Davao City earlier this year, the agrarian reform chief warned Lapanday of contempt if the banana farmers of Tagum are not reinstated to their lands immediately. The Court of Appeals recently denied the application of Lapanday for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction on the CDO issued by Mariano.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange


Maximum term for contracts eyed by ARBs engaged in AVA's

news national 4 pix 1 feb. 7 2017Undersecretary for FPAO and PARC Secretary Atty. David Erro said that all recommendations will be submitted to the policy review committee for consideration. He added, “kailangan po nating isabay ang effort ng mga magsasaka para idulog ang mga kontrata sa PARC at sa DARAB para sabay na mapag-aralan,” during the ARBs' Forum on the AVA implementation at Davao City last Feb 1-3, 2017. 

Region XI News

news reg 1 pix 1 march 252017
March 25, 2017 20

Duterte instructs DAR to confer with Davao farmers on AVAs

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte (March 25, 2017)—President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) through the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council Executive Committee (PARC Excom) to meet with agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs)… Read More..
news reg 5 pix 1 march 3 2017
Mar 03, 2017 49

Murdered peasants in 2017 now 12

The number of peasants killed in 2017 rose to 12 when two more farmers were murdered in Compostela town of Compostela Valley province yesterday, Mar. 2.According to reports received by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), 55-year-old Leonela Tapdasan… Read More..
news reg  2 pix 1 feb. 20 2017
Feb 19, 2017 85

Mariano: Resolve land disputes in Davao

Following the murder of a peasant-activist last Feb. 16 in Compostela Valley, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has ordered its regional office in Davao to resolve the land disputes in all highly-contested landholdings in the area to deter further… Read More..
news national 4 pix 1 feb. 7 2017
Feb 07, 2017 69

Maximum term for contracts eyed by ARBs engaged in AVA's

Undersecretary for FPAO and PARC Secretary Atty. David Erro said that all recommendations will be submitted to the policy review committee for consideration. He added, “kailangan po nating isabay ang effort ng mga magsasaka para idulog ang mga kontrata sa… Read More..

Region 11 Calendar of Activities