THE REGIONAL office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has continued to distribute lands that are covered under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) law to farmer-beneficiaries.
The distribution activities are taking place, DAR XI regional director John M. Maruhom said, even when the effectivity of the law was only until June 30 last year.
“We will distribute the lands until we complete what was covered under the law,” Maruhom said, as there are about 10,000 hectares that have yet to be distributed to farmers in the region.
Section 30 of the Republic Act 9700 or the Carper law states that “any case and/or proceeding involving the implementation of the provisions of Republic Act No. 6657 ( Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program), as amended, which may remain pending on June 30, 2014 shall be allowed to proceed to its finality and be execute even beyond such date.”
While the department is firm on distributing the remaining hectares, Maruhom said land owners of the 70% of the lands to be distributed have continued to resist.
“In the regions, most of these that have resistance are located in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley,” he said, adding that the landowners there were not cooperative. To solve the issue, he said they are conducting a dialogue with the landowners.
Under the Carper law, “the agrarian reform program is founded on the right of farmers and regular farmworkers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, inc the case of other farmworkers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof.”
“To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to the priorities and retention limits set forth in this Act, taking into account ecological, developmental, and equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation,” the Carper added.
Each farmer-beneficiary can have a maximum of three hectares.
DAR XI assistant regional director Eliasem P. Castillo said they were able to distribute 245,945 hectares of lands in the region as of Dec. 31 last year. These were provided to 147,919 agrarian reform beneficiaries.
“We are also giving assistance and support to the beneficiaries,” Castillo said.