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By Yvannessa Santos
I had been a bit skeptical about most colleges’ immersion activities, or sending out their students to live with “less privileged” people. I didn’t understand the point of it from an academic perspective, until I had the opportunity to take part in it.
By Sixto K. Roxas
Those who are seeking genuine answers would do well to read a couple of books written by the late woman economist from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Alice H. Amsden.
Last week, Dorita Vargas was finally granted ownership of the farm lot in La Castellana, Negros Occidental, that she had been tilling for 29 years. The other day, in a twist of fate that was both proof and symbol of the essential difficulty of agrarian reform, she went to claim the property, but was turned [...]
By Joseph Jadway D. Marasigan
The distribution of more than 400 hectares of agricultural land in Mulanay, Quezon, last Feb. 6 is a face-saving move for the Department of Agrarian Reform. In the midst of calls from various groups for Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes to resign—supposedly because of his inability to implement his agency’s mandate—he scored a trey at this recent development. In an effort to dispel doubts on his capacity to carry out his agency’s functions, De los Reyes pointed out that his office is silently working to distribute private landholdings with notices of coverage, especially in the most contentious areas of agrarian reform struggle, as in the Bondoc Peninsula.
By Walden Bello
There can be no doubt that the administration of President Benigno Aquino III has made significant strides in terms of reform. The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act was a major breakthrough, not only for women’s rights but also for development, owing to the central importance of our country’s having a sustainable rate of population growth. The anti-corruption campaign is creating that confidence in government that is an indispensable ingredient of an economic climate that would encourage investment, both local and foreign. The conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which now reaches over three million families, is the country’s most successful anti-poverty program, one that the Asian Development Bank has toasted as a model for other countries.
MY SUGARLAND was covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of the government. However, it was an error by the Department of Agrarian Reform to subject my property to Presidential Decree No. 27 considering that it was a sugarland at the time it was taken by the government 20 years ago. Such fact is well supported by the certification issued on May 1, 1994, by the right-of-way officer of the National Power Corp., who caused damages to my sugarcane plantation during the construction by Napocor of its 69KV and 138KV transmission lines in the area.
By Fr. Joaquin G. Bernas S. J.
One hundred twenty residents of Casiguran—representing at least 2,983 families coming from different sectors such as the farmers, indigenous peoples and fisherfolk—are marching 370 kilometers from Casiguran, Aurora, to Malacañang Palace, in order to highlight their opposition, long voiced by the local communities of Casiguran, to the Aurora ecozone. They will arrive in Manila today, Dec. 10, 2012, and will be welcomed by students from UP, Ateneo and Miriam. Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ, president of Ateneo, will celebrate Mass for them at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.
Contrary to the pledge of President Aquino to complete the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) during his third State of the Nation Address, the recent actions of his administration indicate that he is reneging on this commitment.
By Amando Doronila
The issue that President Aquino would rather forget reared its head during the long holidays devoted to remembering the dead—the slow processing of the redistribution of land in Hacienda Luisita, owned by the President’s family, to its farmworkers under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the flagship social reform legislation handed down by his mother, the late President Cory Aquino.
President Aquino has vowed to fully implement his mother’s 24-year-old Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in two years. He had earlier met with farmer leaders and Catholic bishops for two hours in Malacañang. Farmers, many of whom had marched from the Visayas and Mindanao, were in Manila seeking the full implementation of land reform. Apparently the meeting so impressed the farmers and the bishops that they called off their hunger strike. The farmers were “very happy,” said Christian Monsod, legal counsel of the farmers. “He (the President) opened new doors.”
Ceres Doyo might want to feature another side of the Philippines’ agrarian reform program, one that shows how the program can be, and has in fact been, used to deprive the poor.
The leaders and activists of Anakpawis party list and Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) find hollow the vow of the present administration to do the full implementation of land reform by the end of President Aquino’s term. It is a “Jurassic promise from a despotic landlord.”