Why CARPER Is Worse Than CARP

Under CARP, the scope for land distribution had been eroded from time to time. From the original 10.3 million hectares in 1988, the scope was cut down by 21.76 percent to 8.1 million hectares in 1995. The revisions resulted from executive issuances, administrative orders, Supreme Court rulings, and amendments to the law.

No Expansion of Coverage

Mariano said that the progressive party-list bloc in Congress proposed amendments to the bill during the second reading but the sponsors and the majority flatly rejected their proposals.

“We were pushing for a more encompassing coverage of the land reform program. Specifically, we wanted to delete provisions that exempted agricultural lands for CARP coverage, but they rejected it,” Mariano said.

Agricultural lands exempted and excluded from CARP coverage include lands used for parks, wildlife, forest reserves, reforestation, fish sanctuaries and breeding grounds, watershed and mangroves; private lands actually, directly and exclusively used for prawn farms and fishponds; and lands actually, directly and exclusively used and found to be necessary for national defense, school sites and campuses and all lands with 18 percent slope and over.

Mariano said that instead of expanding the coverage of land reform program, the landlords/legislators in Congress added provisions that will exempt more agricultural land from coverage to include land devoted to aquaculture, livestock, swine raising and the like.

Under CARPER, landowners will have cause to file more petitions for exemptions before the DAR.

CARP allows multinational corporations to maintain their control and operation of vast tracts of agricultural lands through lease, management, grower or service contracts for a period of 25 years and renewable for another 25 years. This provision allowed transnational corporations such as Dole and Del Monte to control 220,000 hectares of agricultural lands devoted for export crops.

During the second reading, Mariano proposed the distribution of land controlled and leased by multinational corporations – in effect the deletion of this provision that favors foreign companies. He was ignored — CARPER will retain this same provision.

Land-Use Conversion

Mariano said Anakpawis, together with Bayan Muna, Gabriela Women’s Party and Kabataan, also proposed the deletion of Section 65 of the bill regarding the conversion of lands already awarded to farmers.

It said that after five years from the land’s award, “when the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound for agricultural purposes, or the locality has become urbanized and the land will have greater economic value for residential, commercial or industrial purposes,” the DAR, upon the application of the beneficiary or the landowner and with due notice to the present landowner, may reclassify or convert the land and dispose it.

Mariano said the retention of this provision from the original law will pave the way for more cases of land-use conversion. The conversion of land to other uses is one of the methods used by landowners to go around CARP.

DAR records show that in the first seven years of CARP, an estimated 33,707 hectares of agricultural lands were converted into other uses. By the end of 1997, conversion has covered 59, 965 hectares of agricultural lands.

The report of the National Statistics Office is more telling. In 2002, the NSO reported that 827, 892 hectares of lands have been converted to other uses.

Non-Land Transfer Schemes

Mariano also proposed the deletion of the so-called non-land transfer schemes in the definition of agrarian reform as stated in Section 3 of the bill.

CARP gives option to landowners to choose “all other arrangements alternative to the physical distribution of lands, such as production or profit-sharing, labor administration, and distribution of shares of stocks which will allow beneficiaries to receive a just share of the fruits of the lands they work.”

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11 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Joel Alapar is an opportunist.

  2. where can we download the Draft of CARPER Law? Is there policy statement from the DAR of any guidelines of what to do in the implementation of CARP for this month of July, now that CARPER Law is still a subject for ratification by both chambers of congress?

  3. I would like to know “what happens to the implementation funding for CARP for the month of July? What happens to the salaries of employees receiving under fund 158 now that CARPER Law is still pending ratification by both chambers of Congress? Though the Law is retroactive to July 1, 2009, but this is not a law yet, considering that it is not signed into law yet. Please send me your thoughts to my email ad. hacker_lexy@yahoo.com.ph thanks

  4. Hi..im still trying to understand this whole thing about CARP..ok, my parents were able to obtain land through this program, now they want me to finance them to cultivate/work the land..my question is, is this worth my money? ayokong gumastos ng pera and then suddenly they’ll just kick my parents out of the land..ano ba legal procedures dapat gawin para namin atleast merong assurance…please help…thank u

  5. Many people in the ( now divided )people's movement are very much surprized on the self-imposed hatred of GARB advocates against the proponents of CARPER. For us, proponents of CARPER we really felt sorry on the tirades of our former collegues on CARPER – which sometimes set forth an insinuation that they are conniving with land owners who are hell bent in opposing the former CARP and now CARPER – in fact 8 members of the militant party list reps. opposed the approval of CARPER. But this we believe is not true.

    We really understand our former collegues in the people's movement, as always their position reflects on what have been agreed and imposed from the the top. Sectarianism and disunity will continue to thrives in our midst if we continue to cling on this kind of attitude.

    Maybe we need to respect each other position and focus on the common enemy. Anyway, natural law dictates that all rivers, streams and body of water will really goes to the sea.

    Not because we change our path, that we already give up our conviction for social change, not because we are espousing reform as a step towards social change that we already coopted ourselves to side with the ruling class,

    As Deng Shiao Peng once says " It doesnt matter what is the color of the cat as long as it catches mice, it is still a cat. "

    We believe that sooner or later a convergence is possible, like all bodies of waters that converge in the seas, we will meet each other at the end of the road – believing that change is possible even in the midst of diversity and differences in ideas.We need to realize that the color of the world is not solely red but a rainbow, without differences in ideas,any ideology or philisophy will die.

    The landless farmers and farm workers really needs land to till inorder to survive under the present economic set up, practically they cannot wait for GARB to be realized under an elite controlled Congress and government.Like you we don't have the illusion that under the present CARPer law, the ideal change that we are dreaming would be realized but at least we provide a breathing space for those people in the countrysides that continue to hopes for the better.

    Let us not make ourselves as prophets, instead lets give the chance to small farmers and farm workers to speak for themselves.

    As Paulo Freire once says in his book , The Pedagogy of the Oppressed- real liberation is not only the liberation of the oppressed and the exploited but also the liberation of the oppressor and the exploiter. Anyway, I believe we share the same dream and that is to " humanize the way people lives on this earth," not only ideologies teaches that, also religions and many other philosophies. The only difference is that they chooses to walk in different paths.

    More so I believe in an adage, that the end does not justify the mean, but unfortunately, in our case, its always the mean that doesn't justify the end.

    So let's be realistic as far as we can be. Karl Marx, once said " we do not prefigure the future but we are building the present by learning the past.

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