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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. 

Maximum term for contracts eyed by ARBs engaged in AVAs

news reg 2 pix 1 feb. 3 2017DAVAO CITY, Feb. 3 – Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) engaged in Agribusiness Venture Agreements (AVA) have recommended the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to consider a maximum term for all contracts during a forum on the implementation of AVAs.

This is one of the five-point policy recommendations and inputs identified by workshop groups classified into crop yields during the forum.

The policy recommendations of participants for the PARC and the DAR are the following:

1. For the DAR to consider the following provisions in the ongoing revision or enhancement of Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 2006:

-       set a maximum term of period for the AVA contracts, i.e., at 10 years for lease or JVA agreements for both parties to be able to renegotiate their terms and conditions, or based on the crop cycle for other AVA schemes; with specific provision for economic review including provision on automatic price adjustments

-       include a provision on the sanctions pertaining to:

o   Violations of AVA guidelines to give options to the ARBs other than revocation;

§  Non-observance of timeline in rendering decisions by approving authorities on AVA applications

-       include a provision of setting up of a grievance mechanism or committee within the ARB cooperatives or associations engaged in AVA;

-       on Joint Venture Agreements, representation must be fixed at 60-40 percent in the Board of Directors (BOD) in favor of the ARBs considering that ARBs provide the most valuable investment which is the land

-       make it mandatory for the AVA contracts to be translated into local dialect for better understanding of the ARBs

-       Include a provision that will require investors to provide soil rehabilitation fund or implement a soil rehabilitation program

-       Stipulate in the contract the establishment of a review mechanism which will involve an outside expert (acceptable to both parties) for the periodic review of the economic assumptions, physical attributes of the lands and critical terms mentioned under Section 4.14 of AO 9, Series of 2006

-       Prescribe a more reasonable bases for computing lease rentals as the current formula provided in AO No. 02, Series of 2008 is still not acceptable to the ARBs

-       Include a directive to the investors to make farming methods and other farm inputs generally safe for the environment, i.e., ecologically sound

2. For the DAR to provide well-defined guidelines on the roles and interventions of CDA roles and interventions for internal and intra-ARB cooperative conflicts on agrarian-related issues by forging a MOA with CDA on the matter

3. For the PARC to study the possible creation of the Philippine Palm Oil Board and the participation or involvement of other line agencies such as DTI, NEDA in the stabilization of the market price of palm oil to avoid price manipulation

4. For the PARC/DAR to formulate policy guidelines that will cover previous contracts negotiated prior to AO 9 to ensure the participation of the DAR

5. For the PARC/DAR to consider the possibility of lodging the approval/revocation of AVA under one approving authority preferably at the regional level in as much as the PARC seldom convenes

There was also a recommendation to include those who are engaged in the rubber plantation in future forums on AVA implementation.

According to Undersecretary for Finance, Planning and Administration (FPAO) and PARC Secretary Atty. David Erro, all recommendations will be submitted to the policy review committee for consideration. “Kailangan po nating isabay ang effort ng mga magsasaka para idulog ang mga kontrata sa PARC at sa DARAB para sabay na mapag-aralan,” he added.

DAR is given the authority by relevant provisions of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) to regulate the implementation of AVAs. The department issued AO 2 series of 1999, which was amended by AO 9 series of 2006, and was subsequently revoked by AO 4 series of 2006 to effectively implement AVA schemes. However, agrarian chief Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano suspended the implementation of AO 4 in view of numerous issues encountered and is now being reviewed and revised by concerned DAR units.

The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) is the highest policy making body of the CARP as mandated by Section 14 of the Republic Act No. 9700 and amended under Section 37 of RA 6657. Under the law, it is tasked to “formulate policies to ensure that support services for ARBs shall be provided at all stages of the program implementation with the concurrence of the concerned agrarian reform beneficiaries.”

Furthermore, Section 44 of RA 6657 was amended by Section 3 of RA 7905, assigning the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM) the role of recommending PARC the “continuous processing of applications for the lease back arrangements, joint venture agreements, and other schemes that will optimize the operating size for agricultural production and also promote both security of tenure and security of income to farmer beneficiaries; provided that lease back arrangements should be the last resort.”

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange

ARBs engaged in AVA support genuine agrarian reform bill

news reg 1 pix 1 feb. 3 2017

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 3 - In an unprecedented turn of events, agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBO) from Visayas and Mindanao forwarded a resolution that strongly supports the passage of House Bill 555 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) and the immediate confirmation of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano during a forum initiated by the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) secretariat in Davao City.

Members of ARBOs, who are engaged in Agribusiness Venture Agreements (AVA), raised the motion after Undersecretary for Finance, Planning and Administration (FPAO) and PARC Secretary Atty. David Erro discussed the current thrust and policy directions of DAR and its main advocacy campaign – genuine agrarian reform.

If passed, GARB will push for the free distribution of agricultural lands to qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and the collective building of their organizations.

“The participants, specifically the ARBs, expressed their conformity with the concepts, features and objectives of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill which they believe will address the plight of the small farmers concerning default payments of their land amortizations and the corresponding interests and penalties being charged by the financing institutions,” the resolution said.

Those who signed the resolution are representatives of ARB cooperatives or associations and Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee (PARCCOM) Chairpersons of Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Bukidnon, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, and DAR Regional and Provincial AVA point-persons of Regions IX, X, XI, XII, CARAGA and the Negros Island Region.

Participants of the three-day forum raised the point as they are confident that the said bill promotes the interests and welfare of small farmers to effectively uplift their socio-economic conditions as envisioned by the genuine agrarian reform program.

Copies of the resolution will be immediately submitted to the PARC, the PARC Executive Committee, and both Houses of the Congress through their respective committees on agrarian reform.

#DAR4Farmers #Land4Farmers #PartnerForChange


Region XI News

news reg  2 pix 1 feb. 20 2017
February 19, 2017 16

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 31

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..
news reg 2 pix 1 feb. 3 2017
Feb 03, 2017 37

Maximum term for contracts eyed by ARBs engaged in AVAs

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 3 – Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) engaged in Agribusiness Venture Agreements (AVA) have recommended the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to consider a maximum term for all contracts… Read More..
news reg 1 pix 1 feb. 3 2017
Feb 03, 2017 38

ARBs engaged in AVA support genuine agrarian reform bill

DAVAO CITY, Feb. 3 - In an unprecedented turn of events, agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBO) from Visayas and Mindanao forwarded a resolution that strongly supports the passage of House Bill 555 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) and the… Read More..

Region 11 Calendar of Activities