“Extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is extending the suffering of our farmers,” Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luzviminda C. Ilagan said when asked to explain her “NO” vote to Committee Report No. 506 or the House Bill 4077 which will extend the implementation of CARP.
Ilagan explained that her vote against CARP extension does not mean that she is against agrarian reform. It is in fact one of the advocacies of the Gabriela Women’s Party to distribute lands to Filipino farmers without condition. She does not approve the extension of CARP because it is a program that never pursued the interest of the peasant farmers in the country.
“Under CARP, there will be no genuine distribution of lands to the farmers. This program applies non-distributive schemes as forms of agrarian reform,” she said.
There is no guarantee under CARP that the farmers will own the land they till because the Certificates of Land Ownership Award, Certificates of Land Transfer and Emancipation Patents to be given to them can be forfeited.
CARP also subjects agricultural lands into massive land conversions and exemptions, and therefore contributes to the rice crisis our country is experiencing at present.
Farmers, especially women farmers, cannot depend on CARP. CARP offers false hope or illusion that it will offer women support services needed for them to do their duties and responsibilities as farmers and as mothers.
“Gabriela Women’s Party cannot let a bogus agrarian reform program to continue denying the Filipino farmers ownership of their lands,” Ilagan said.
Ilagan also calls on to her fellow members of the House of Representatives to give attention to House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), explaining that this bill will give the farmers what they want and need. GARB offers an agrarian reform program wherein the distribution of lands to the farmers is not based on amortization, but instead on providing support services to them.
The women’s partylist representative reasons that if the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill will be approved, this country might achieve its goal of food self-sufficiency and effectively resolve its rice crisis.