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.
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