“Let us not give peasants false hopes and take HB 4077 for what it really is. It is another sham agrarian reform program no different from what has been implemented in the past 20 years.”
Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Liza Maza reiterated today their bid for genuine agrarian reform via House Bill 3059 as they pitched in debates against the bill to extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Earlier today, President Gloria Arroyo has certified the measure to extend the CARP as urgent.
According to Maza, “The existing CARP provided loopholes to big landowners like Negros Rep. Iggy Arroyo. The existing CARP allowed the conversion of lands, various exemptions and exclusions and schemes such as the Stock Distribution Option, all of which have been used by big landowners to retain ownership of huge tracts of land. The very same loopholes are retained in HB 4077.” CARP is set to expire on June 17.
“If we are indeed sincere in our intentions in having the land distributed to the landless, then we must not extend this bogus CARP,” said Maza.
Instead, Maza dared Malacanang to certify as urgent HB 3059. “Let us instead enact and implement a genuine agrarian reform program embodied in HB 3059 that will provide for free distribution of all agricultural lands to farmer beneficiaries. Let us instead enact a genuine land reform program that provides for measures that will secure the lands of peasant-beneficiari es from re-confiscation and encourages the establishment of cooperatives, services and other forms of agricultural assistance to help beneficiaries improve their productivity. ”
“Lessons should be learned. There never was any reform implemented in all of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program’s 20 years. We will be doing Filipino farmers an injustice by extending a law that has not only effectively kept them from owning the land they till but assured the concentration of huge hectares of lands to multinationals and big landlords.” #