CARP Beyond 2008? Different Perspectives on the Future of the Philippine Agrarian Reform Program

The UP Law Student Government
in cooperation with the Office of the Dean

invites you to

CARP Beyond 2008?
A Forum on the Future of Philippine Agrarian Reform
on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 (International Human Rights Day)
at the Sarmiento Room from 12nn-3PM

*snacks will be served


CARP Beyond 2008?
a Forum on the Future of Philippine Agrarian Reform

It’s quite simple: the land belongs to the farmer and the farmer to the land. This inextricable bond between the farmer and the land he tills is at the heart of the issue of Agrarian Reform. Blood, sweat, and tears have been given up in the farmers’ long drawn out fight for genuine agrarian reform.

Twenty years after Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law was enacted, there is once again a clamor not just for Agrarian Reform, but for the extension and reform of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Twenty years have passed and while the objectives of the CARP are honorable and seek to distribute land and effectively redistribute wealth, much has yet to be done given the less than universal and consistent implementation of the law, lack of political will, and the great number of farmers who are yet to reap the benefits of this program.

Twenty years has passed and still, farmers have gone to great lengths to fully claim the land which is rightfully theirs. It was only last year that the Sumilao Farmers walked 1,700 kilometers from Bukidnon to Manila. This year, many farmers’ groups have followed (literally) in their footsteps -- The Banasi Farmers walked more than 400 kilometers, the Calatagan Farmers, among others. There are farmers who are in the twilight of their lives yet have marched hundreds of kilometers not so much for themselves, but for their grandchildren whom they believe can have a better future.

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform is, in theory very promising and revolutionary. The CARP implements the Constitutional blueprint for national development. It is a poverty-alleviation measure that seeks to transform agrarian reform beneficiaries into more productive members of society who can use the land to generate more income for their families. As a major social justice program, the CARP seeks to address the problem of inequitable distribution of land. However, if genuine and comprehensive agrarian reform is truly the end goal, much has yet to be done.

The forum seeks to give an overview of the CARP over the past twenty years as well as the pending reform measures in Congress. It will also be a venue to exchange ideas and insights so as to give a more in-depth understanding of Agrarian Reform in our country.

No comments: