Luisita’s Agrarian Reform is a failure – DAR Chief

By , on April 26, 2017

Photo: National Union of Students of the Philippines/
Photo: National Union of Students of the Philippines/

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said on Tuesday, that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) had failed in many ways in Hacienda Luisita.

It has been reported that the majority of the beneficiaries had either leased, mortgaged, or sold their lots despite a standing ban on the transfer and sale of it for 10 years.

Apparently, many beneficiaries said that they were not aware of the ban on leasing, nor on the sale of lands enlisted under the CARP. They said that they had either leased or sold their lots to pay for necessities or to support sick relatives.

In the report made by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) covering 5,031 of the 6,212 beneficiaries across  10 villages in the Cojuangco estate, there were  2,800 farm workers who had leased or mortgaged their lands. 600 of them had sold their lots to third-party buyers, while 200 took part in a joint venture agreement.

Mariano also stated that local politicians or “arriendadors” (renters) are the ones behind the scheme. They would often enter into deals where they rent the land from agrarian reform beneficiaries, which invalidates the mechanics of the CARP. It has been reported that renting out lots were common in Barangays Mabilog and Pando in La Paz, Tarlac. In Barangay Bantog in Tarlac City, 117 out of the 236 beneficiaries had continued growing crops.

It had also been ruled by the Supreme Court in 2011 that the beneficiaries lack control over the land, thus, the High Court ordered the cancellation of the stock distribution option (SDO).

Out of the 4,500 hectares that the DAR was tasked to redistribute, 6,600 square meters is to be allocated to each of the 6,212 farmers.