Rep. Luz Ilagan and Rep. Liza Maza both of GABRIELA Women’s Party, join other progressive partylist representatives from Bayan Muna and Anakpawis in the filing of the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill of 2007 also known as “An Act Instituting Genuine Agrarian Reform In the Country and Creating the Mechanism For its Implementation and Other Purposes.”
The said bill will emphasize free land distribution to deserving farmer beneficiaries and the dismantling of land monopoly now prevalent in the country.
“Landlessness is still the core of the economic and political problems of peasants and of others in the agriculture sector.” Rep. Ilagan stressed.
The recent suicide of Estanislao Ablin, a farmer from Butuan City, is a clear example of how impoverished farmers are being pushed to commit such a tragic act. The Genuine Land Reform Act of 2007 is intended to replace the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which will end this year. This law has aggravated the difficult condition of the farmers by legalizing land grabbing for over twenty years.
“The extreme poverty experienced by the peasants reflects the decades-long social injustice . The passage of this bill will alleviate the plight of poor peasants and push for genuine agricultural development.” Ilagan stressed.
Notable in the proposed bill is how vast tracts leased to Transnational corporations (TNCs) in Mindanao will be included in the reforms. Land for the tillers will be reality for farmers long deprived of the fruits of their labor.
The House Bill highlights salient points that include dismantling of land monopoly, broadening the scope and coverage of land distribution, and the putting up of support services. The holistic and comprehensive approach to the development of agriculture shall address the concerns of the toiling masses of the country.