December 21, 2008 05:55 PM Sunday [ journal.com.ph ]
By: Jester P. Manalastas
ONLY the landlords will benefit from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program extension.
Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza yesterday expressed dismay over the approved joint resolution on the CARP extension saying it spells six months more misery for landless peasants.
Maza said Congress would do better by deliberating on House Bill 3059 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill, which will provide 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-beneficiaries from re-confiscation and encourages the establishment of cooperatives, services and other forms of agricultural assistance to help beneficiaries improve their productivity,” Maza said.
“Let us instead enact a program that will distribute land to the tillers for free and move towards putting an end to land monopoly and bondage in this country,” she added.
According to her, the move to extend CARP, which is part of a “grand sham and zarzuela,” meant to give peasants false hopes of land distribution.
But Maza said that the 20-year-old CARP is a failure because it did not improve the lives of the farmers.
“The ill-designed CARP of this government which has proven its futility for the past two decades will only worsen the problem of landlessness,” she said.
Maza said the CARP never guaranteed the peasants’ right to own the land they till.
“In fact, big landlords made use of the same law to evade land distribution, strengthen their control over vast tracts of agricultural lands,” Maza stressed.