Serving as the leading committee in the coordination and implementation of the agrarian reform program in the provinces, the PARCCOMs decided to prioritize the passage of a genuine agrarian reform program in the country.
Resolution No. 1, Series of 2016, entitled “A resolution strongly supporting the immediate passage of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (House Bill No. 555),” recognizes the absence of a genuine agrarian reform program as the primary reason for the continuing poverty and lack of food security. Members of the committee believe that the passage of HB 555 will help attain rural development and economic growth in the countryside.
Under the proposed bill, agricultural lands shall be distributed to qualified farmers for free. It shall revoke all previous unjust decrees on exemption and exclusion, and break up land monopoly. The GARB also seeks to institutionalize a comprehensive program of state support and subsidy to farmer beneficiaries.
On the other hand, the PARCCOM also declared their support for Mariano as the agrarian reform chief and vice chairperson of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) by passing the second resolution entitled “A resolution supporting the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments (CA) of Rafael V. Mariano as Secretary of the DAR.”
The chairpersons added that the present leadership of Mariano at the DAR benefits the farmers and other stakeholders because of the thrust and policy direction of his administration – to defend and assert the rights of farmers.
In his first 100 days as agrarian reform chief, Mariano has rallied the support of President Rodrigo Duterte to convene the PARC after more than a decade of inactivity, announced a two-year moratorium on land-use conversion, distributed hundreds of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), and organized continuing dialogues with farmers and farmworkers’ groups.
The two resolutions will be submitted to the Committee on Agrarian Reform of the House of Representatives and the CA for immediate consideration. The GARB has been initially filed during the 14th Congress while Mariano has been waiting for his official appointment since he assumed office last July.