PARC secretariat leads consultation with farmers on Agri-Venture Contracts

PARC Secretariat Director James Arsenio Ponce (extreme right) together with Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudicator Rolando Cua and Bienvenido Valerio of the Support Service Office of DAR talks with agrarian reform beneficiaries on their various AVA problems. 

DAPITAN CITY (Oct. 12, 2017)—The Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) Secretariat organized a two-day consultation, feedbacking and workshop with agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) involved in agri-business venture agreements (AVA) to inform and guide them in making sound decisions concerning their AVA with their investors.

The consultation cum workshop was held in this city on Oct. 11 to12, 2017.

PARC Secretariat Director James Arsenio Ponce said farmers often get involved in onerous agreements because they are not properly guided on the laws and processes in negotiating their AVAs. 
He added that farmers get abused and oppressed for not understanding the provisions contained in their AVAs.

“Their lack of understanding of the AVA [laws and regulations] always put them in an unfavorable and disadvantageous position,” Ponce explained.

The consultation, he pointed out, will empower the ARBs and their cooperatives with the processes and guide them on what options to take in negotiating for their contracts with their investors.

“The workshop would also guide them in formulating action plans in addressing their AVA problems,” Ponce added.

Participants composed of ARB cooperative officials discussed the updates, status, issues, and concerns of their respective AVA contracts with AVA point persons, PARC Secretariat, DAR support services office and DAR Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers during the two-day workshop.

“Upon hearing their problems with their AVAs, we brainstormed on the challenges and came up with proposed recommendations and suggested solutions to each of their problems,” Ponce said.

He also emphasized that the workshop is being conducted after President Rodrigo Duterte, who serves as the chairperson of PARC, directed that all AVA contracts involving tenants and landholders must pass through DAR for evaluation and to determine if the AVAs are in violation of the 1987 Constitution as well as of agrarian reform laws, rules and regulations.

Acting on that directive, the PARC Secretariat earlier this year conducted an ARB’s forum on the implementation of AVAs.

Agrarian cooperatives were requested to submit their existing AVA contracts for review and evaluation by the DAR.

“This consultation, feedbacking and workshop is the second activity we handled after the President made the directive. We presented to them the result of the evaluation of their AVAs submitted in the ARB’s forum. And now after lengthily discussing problems and suggesting possible solutions, they are now armed with enough knowledge to make sound decisions in their AVAs,” Ponce said. (30)

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