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Time to let go—or not? (2)

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“By far the most painstaking and careful undertaking to evaluate the performance of CARP on beneficiary welfare is the 2007 APPC Impact Assessment Study funded by DAR (updated in November 2008 as ‘Land Reform, Rural Development and Poverty in the Philippines: Revisiting the Agenda’). … [T]he effort is remarkable for its attention to detail.”

Posted: March 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Stonewalling stalls social reform

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Over the past few weeks, key social reform programs designed to redistribute the nation’s wealth more broadly have stalled as the Aquino administration stonewalled against public demands for their accelerated implementation.

Posted: February 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Where is social justice?

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On its website (www.dar.gov.ph), the Department of Agrarian Reform boasts of having distributed 2,321,064 hectares of private agricultural land and 1,727,054 hectares of nonprivate agricultural land, or a total of 4,048,118 hectares. “This is equivalent to 2,396,857 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries installed,” the DAR says.   But the whole point of asset reform is social justice. [...]

Posted: January 31st, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Waterloo for Agrarian Reform?

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The Philippines still has a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in poverty by 50 per cent from 1990 levels if it resolutely carries out the right policies, National Economic Development Authority head Arsenio Balicasan said at a recent congressional hearing.

Posted: September 17th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Waterloo for agrarian reform?

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The Philippines still has a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people living in poverty by 50 per cent from 1990 levels if it resolutely carries out the right policies, National Economic Development Authority head Arsenio Balicasan said at a recent congressional hearing.

Posted: September 16th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Rizal’s agrarian dispute

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One week from Independence Day, June 12, we commemorate the birthday of Jose Rizal, one of the founding fathers of the nation. It is a holiday in his birthplace, and the house in Calamba, Laguna, that I once painted green will be the focus of attention for a while—the focus of teachers who will advise their students to study hard and get good grades like Rizal.

Posted: June 14th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Must gov’t go to SC on issue of auditing HLI?

We cannot help it, but the latest attempt of the Department of Agrarian Reform to bring to court the auditing process required in the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to almost 6,300 farmer-beneficiaries has raised our eyebrows.

Posted: June 7th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Positive ‘encounters’ in CARP implementation

In 1998, in my absence and without my knowing it, the Department of Agrarian Reform surveyed my properties in Barangay F. Simeon in Ragay, Camarines Sur. I only came to know about it after seven years.

Posted: May 23rd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

CARPe diem

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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.

Posted: March 6th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Econ growth sans development

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FARMERS march on Bacolod City  to  demand  the implementation and completion  of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. RAFFY LERMA

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.

Posted: February 23rd, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Talk of the Town | Read More »

‘Hayaan mo, Nay’

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 [...]

Posted: February 21st, 2013 in Columnists,Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

Wanted: rights-based asset reform

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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.

Posted: February 15th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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