Farmers set march vs DAR ‘inaction’ on CARPer

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 March) – A newly-formed alliance of farmers in Mindanao will hold a three-kilometer march on Tuesday from Ulas to the regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Catalunan Pequeno to protest the alleged snail-paced implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Extension Reforms (CARPer).

The Alliance of Land Rights Movement-Mindanao (Alarm-Mindanao) also claimed that the DAR has no clear recommendations following the series of dialogues since last year and even the most recent ones in Manila with Task Force Mapalad (TFM).

TFM is among the convenors of Alarm-Mindanao, which is composed of non-government organizations and people’s organizations in the region.

Organi Biong, chair of Davao Oriental Farmers and Farmworkers Alliance, said they wanted the CARPer finished under the Aquino administration.

“But to finish it, it does not mean to simply implement it. The government should finish it with substance. Meaning, the government should also implement other components such as the social component and post-harvest facilities,” he stressed in an interview.

He added they also have members from Agusan provinces, Davao provinces, Bukidnon, and South Cotabato.

In a separate statement, Alarm-Mindanao cited that for the past two years the DAR has distributed 64,582 hectares of the 493,519-hectare target six regions of Mindanao.

The CARPer became a law in 2009.

The group said the President was not serious in implementing the CARPer based on its allegedly slow progress in Mindanao.

It added more time has been given to the anti-corruption campaign while the implementation of CARPer which it said is the aspiration of the majority of the farmers and agricultural workers has been neglected.

“Since the start of this year, we have not received nor heard anything from DAR if what would be their concrete actions to the pending cases and complaints we have filed before their office,” Biong said.

He cited their appeal for the removal of DAR-XI regional director Yusoph Mama, whom they accused of coddling the landlords in the region. (Keith Bacongco/MindaNews)