Last Updated 30 Jul 2021

State of the Philippine Agrarian Reform Program

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“Tuwid na Daan” or the Straight Path is a phrase repeatedly mentioned by President Benigno S. Aquino III to pertain to his governance direction for the country. Essential to this concept of “Tuwid na Daan” is the battle cry “Kung Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap.  The administration believes that corruption is the root cause of the country’s woes, and eliminating corruption will necessarily lead to renewed investor confidence, eventual growth and development, poverty reduction, and attainment of peace. The straight path, however, does not only pertain to the President’s anti-corruption campaign. It also encompasses a way of doing things right, where the process is participatory; the programs are holistic; growth is sustained; the peace policy is comprehensive; and development is sustainable.

Through the living examples of our leaders, led by the President, this re-awakened sense of right and wrong continues to be translated to economic value. Before going to the main purpose of this report which is to inform the reader on the present state of the Philippine Agrarian Reform Program for the year 2011, let’s tackle first the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Comprehensive Agrarian Reform- Birth, Struggle & Future  The Philippine comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) was envisioned shortly after the Filipino liberation from martial rule in 1986.

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It was designed to free the majority of the Filipino poor from the bondage of the soil by making them owners of the land they till. It also aims to grant economic-size land to the landless. Comprehensive enough, it covers farmers’ education, skills training and strong farmers' organization, application of improved technology, and support by the government. The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides in Article 14, Sec. 4. that:

The State shall, by law, undertake an agrarian reform program founded on the right of farmers and regular farm workers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farm workers, to receive a just share of the fruits thereof. To this end, the State shall encourage and undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable retention limits as the congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental, or equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation.

In determining retention limits the State, shall respect the right of small landowners, The State shall further provide incentives for voluntary land-sharing. The overriding idea under the Philippine constitution is the preservation of the concept of an “economic family-size farm” as embodied in the past land reform laws.

Even in collective ownership however, the constitutional mandate is to preserve the control of the tiller over the land a farmer tills. This is so because, agrarian reform is essentially a land-to-the-tiller program; it is based on the right of farmers and regular farm workers to own the lands they till.

Declaration of Principles and Policies

It is the policy of the State to pursue a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). The welfare of the landless farmers and farm workers will receive the highest consideration to promote social justice and to move the nation towards sound rural development and industrialization, and the establishment of owner cultivatorship of economic-sized farms as the basis of Philippine agriculture.

To this end, a more equitable distribution and ownership of land, with due regard to the rights of landowners to just compensation and to the ecological needs of the nation, shall be undertaken to provide farmers and farm workers with the opportunity to enhance their dignity and improve the quality of their lives through greater productivity of agricultural lands. The agrarian reform program is founded on the right of farmers and regular farm workers, who are landless, to own directly or collectively the lands they till or, in the case of other farm workers, to receive a share of the fruits thereof.

To this end, the State shall encourage the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to the priorities and retention limits set forth in this Act, having taken into account ecological, developmental, and equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation. The State shall respect the right of small landowners and shall provide incentives for voluntary land-sharing.

The State shall recognize the right of farmers, farm workers and landowners, as well as cooperatives and other independent farmers' organization, to participate in the planning, organization, and management of the program, and shall provide support to agriculture through appropriate technology and research, and adequate financial, production, marketing and other support services. The State shall apply the principles of agrarian reform or stewardship, whenever applicable, in accordance with law, in the disposition or tilization of other natural resources, including lands of the public domain, under lease or concession, suitable to agriculture, subject to prior rights, homestead rights of small settlers and the rights of indigenous communities to their ancestral lands. The State may resettle landless farmers and farm workers in its own agricultural estates, which shall be distributed to them in the manner provided by law. By means of appropriate incentives, the State shall encourage the formation and maintenance of economic-sized family farms to be constituted by individual beneficiaries and small landowners.

The State shall protect the rights of subsistence fishermen, especially of local communities, to the preferential use of communal marine and fishing resources, both inland and offshore. It shall provide support to such fishermen through appropriate technology and research, adequate financial, production and marketing assistance and other services, The State shall also protect, develop and conserve such resources. The protection shall extend to offshore fishing grounds of subsistence fishermen against foreign intrusion. Fishworkers shall receive a just share from their labor in the utilization of marine and fishing resources.

The State shall be guided by the principles that land has a social function and land ownership has a social responsibility. Owners of agricultural land have the obligation to cultivate directly or through labor administration the lands they own and thereby make the land productive. The State shall provide incentives to landowners to invest the proceeds of the agrarian reform program to promote industrialization, employment and privatization of public sector enterprises. Financial instruments used as payment for lands shall contain features that shall enhance negotiability and acceptability in the marketplace.

The State may lease undeveloped lands of the public domain to qualified entities for the development of capital-intensive farms, traditional and pioneering crops especially those for exports subject to the prior rights of the beneficiaries under this Act. The intent of the Philippine Constitution and R. A. 6657 is crystal clear: the promotion of social justice through an equitable distribution of land by making it easier for the disadvantaged to be able to acquire land. Agrarian reform is meant to reduce inequalities as social justice demands. And in its pursuit, land is to be taken for redistribution to the landless.

In the process of taking, the law provides for just compensation. As suggested by Rev. Father Joaquin Bernas. S. J., just compensation should depend on the farmers’ ability to pay and not on the standard fair market value or it will not be in accord with the thrust of the law. Fr. Bernas cited land reform in Japan where just compensation was dictated by law and amounted to less than the market value In Japan, according to him, land reform embodied recognition of the reality that expropriation for land reform was not eminent domain pure and simple, but also exercise of police power which necessarily entails loss on the part of those regulated.

An analogous situation he said, is the police power of the state to impose price control on essential commodities for the benefit of the public but at the expense of the sellers. It is expiring this year, 2008, after a second extension. The report of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) shows that from July, 1987 to December, 2004, it has only 75% rate of ccomplishment.

Out of the 4,676,017 hectares of targeted private agricultural land, only 3,499,790 have been distributed. Approximately 1. 2 Million hectares remain untouched. Furthermore, according to the University of the Philippines, Los Banos Micro Study, 2007, 75% of the farmer beneficiaries till their land and improve their lives despite palpable lack of support from the government. These farmers are left with the burden of generating capital and are oftentimes forced to make use of their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) as collaterals for loans.

Among the other problems obstructing the success of land reform in the Philippines are: “problematic” landholdings, such as areas with missing titles, erroneous technical descriptions, and court disputes; insufficient funds for land acquisition and support services. Protest and oppositions by big landowners is a big stumbling block as well. Furthermore, dissatisfaction on the part of the farmer beneficiaries is another blot on the program. The heading of Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao (02/10/2008) says: “Farmers awarded CARP lands seek way out of ‘bad deals’. The 662 farm workers of the 3,900-hectares Guthrie Estates in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, Negros Occidental found the deal so onerous as they have not been receiving enough share from the produce of the land assigned to them under a cooperative structure. The farmers have been protesting and negotiating for better arrangements. One cooperative member warned: “If they will not listen to us, blood will spill over in our land. We have been long dead anyway. ” Ironically, CARP suffered a setback during the term of President Corazon Aquino.

Hacienda Luisita, the Aquino family's own 6,000- hectare estate was exempted from distribution. The hacienda was placed under what is termed the corporative scheme where the farmers were given shares of stocks and instead of owning the land they till, they receive dividends from the net profit of the operation of the hacienda as one intact landholding. A lot more is necessary to implement CARP effectively even at this time when the program period is at its tail end.

Among them are: decisiveness on the part of government to implement the law against the mighty and powerful landowners; strict safeguards against land-use conversion; sufficient amount and better management of funds; stronger community-based organization; creative and effective programs for big landholdings. There is an ongoing massive call for CARP extension to be coupled with reforms and more decisive land distribution. On the other hand, landowners are pointing to the flaws and failures of CARP as a basis for terminating the program.

Since the birth of CARP, they have been deriding its existence, have been exerting efforts to thwart its implementation and plotting ways to defeat the spirit of land reform. Farmers now pin their hopes on House Bill No. 3059, or the proposed “Genuine Agrarian Reform Act of 2007”. It was filed by representatives of party-list groups Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women’s Party. The bill seeks to distribute land for free and expand agrarian reform coverage to all agricultural lands in the country.

According to the former DAR Secretary Butch Abad, agrarian reform will not succeed if government and business sector will not do their part. And he believes that poverty and social conflict such as the secession movement are due to landlessness to a significant degree. According to Sec. Abad, the present state of things show land reform has failed. Tenants can not be owner-cultivator and farm manager overnight. After acquiring the farm, they need training, support services, capital. One proof that agrarian reform is not yet a success is that countless farmers have not been given a piece of the land as yet.

Overall, a total of 2,501 kms of completed FMRs provide better access to markets and social services and boost economic activities by allowing goods and products to flow in and out of the barangays. FMRs also help reduce transport costs, spoilage and deterioration of quality of agricultural products, and facilitate delivery of farm inputs. 3. 2. 2. From July 2010 to June 2011, a total of 65 tramlines were completed connecting remote areas to FMRs. A total of 67 agricultural tramlines were completed since project start-up in 2009, which is 63% of the targeted 107 units to be completed by December 2011.

The use of these tramlines cuts the cost of hauling by half from P2 to P1 per kilogram of produce and reduces hauling time significantly from hours to just a few minutes. Inaugurated on 13 April 2011 at Twin Peaks, Tuba, Benguet, a 400-meter tramline has reduced hauling time from 2 hours to five minutes. Farmers pay P1 per kilo of produce to cover the cost of diesel fuel, engine maintenance and other repairs and allowance for the tramline operator. On 25 February 2011, a tramline built by DA-Philmech at a cost of P1. 6 million was inaugurated in La Paz, Zamboanga City, a barangay located 970 meters above sea level.

A 370 meter distance between the barangay and the closest national road used to take 12 hours to traverse. With the tramline, travel time over this distance has been reduced to three minutes. A local group, the La Paz Farmers’ Association operates the tramline collecting a fee of one peso for a load of 350 kilos of corn and vegetables. All in all, in the first 11 months of the Aquino Administration (July 2010 to May 2011), 11,611 hectares of new areas were irrigated, 40,053 hectares were restored, and 171,910 hectares were rehabilitated both for current and carry over projects.

Restoration entails repairing the irrigation facility that is currently not functional while rehabilitation means upgrading or improving the facility, which is currently working but has not attained the maximum or designed irrigation efficiency.

Put up the following post-harvest facilities:

  • One hundred eighty seven (187) food terminals from July 2010 to April 2011 benefiting 1,155 small farmers and fishers.
  • These food terminals provide affordable basic food commodities to around 457,859 households who are able to save not only from low-priced commodities but also from cuts in transportation expenses and reduction of middlemen costs. The savings on transportation cost ranges from P8–P200 for every trip to the market.
  • Thirteen (13) or 68% of the targeted 19 Corn Post Harvest Trading Centers (CPHTC) in major corn producing areas nationwide. These centers ensure continuous supply of corn even during the wet season, guarantee premium quality, and open opportunity for other investments in the corn industry.
  • A total of 1,342 small scale composting facilities in the different regions nationwide, reaching 100% of the target, and generating 5,368 jobs. This forms part of the government’s promotion of organic farming through the Organic Fertilizer Production Project, which will enable farmers to produce their own organic fertilizer to reduce dependence on expensive synthetic fertilizers.
  • A total of 56 units of flatbed dryers from July 2010 to April 2011, attaining 100% of the target and generating 402 jobs. These will reduce post-harvest losses during the drying stage of palay and ensure quality drying during the rainy season. Four cold chain facilities from July 2010 to May 2011 would enable farmers of high value crops to store their fruits and vegetables in the appropriate temperature and prolong the quality and shelf life of perishable crops, obtaining for the farmers a better selling price for their produce. These facilities were turned over to three cooperatives in Benguet, Palayan City, and San Jose City, benefiting 139 farmers.
  • Ten units of Village-Type post-harvest facilities as of June 2011, in key corn production areas and strategic demand sites nationwide.
  • Thirty-one more units are expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2011. Fostered a culture of self-relianceSome of the strategies under the Food Staple Self-Sufficiency program include the termination of direct input subsidies to farmers and front-loading of irrigation investments in 2012 and 2013 to increase output as early as possible, thus decreasing the need to import rice. These actions are already bearing fruit as seen in the bumper crop harvest from January to March 2011.
  • The country’s rice importation dropped significantly by 80% from an import volume of 2. 2 million MT from July 2009 to June 2010 to 386,243 MT from July 2010 to June 2011. The decrease in volume of actual rice import arrivals can be attributed to the good harvest and the comfortable stock position of the country. Likewise, rice shipments were scheduled better. From here on, NFA buffer stocks will consist mainly of palay purchased from local farmers—a long standing demand of the rice farmers. From January to June 2011, the government through the NFA has procured some P7. 64 billion worth of palay from all over the country. This is 16% of the NFA stock.

The NFA targets to increase this volume from the harvest from the main cropping season later this year. The total rice imported in 2010 was 2. 38 million MT. For 2011, the government shall import 64% less or 860,000 MT, with 200,000 MT imported by the government, and 660,000 MT by the private sector. For 2012, rice imports shall further decline to 500,000 MT, with 100,000 MT imported by the government and 400,000 MT imported by the private sector. The government was able to increase the average farm gate price of palay by 2. 89% within a short period, thereby immediately increasing the farmer’s income.

Strategic reserves and placements made it possible for the price of rice to remain stable, thereby assuring the affordability and availability of rice to the public. Production in the crops subsector was also up by 8. 19% and the main contributors were palay, corn, sugarcane, and banana. Anna York C. Bondoc, who took the cudgels for the agency and pulled it off with poise even as she endured almost six hours of grilling from her colleagues Bondoc, who stood as the sponsor for DAR’s budget, eloquently justified its P18. 3-billion proposed budget, saying that the agency, despite operating on lean budget each year in the past, has managed to deliver the tasks expected of it. How much more if DAR is provided with sufficient funds,” Bondoc said even as she rallied her fellow lawmakers to come in support of DAR, which is in dire need for more funds to complete the distribution of some 1 million hectares of agricultural lands and deliver much-needed support services in the form of basic rural infrastructure projects and skills development program. The DAR said that P10 billion of its total budget for next year will go to land tenure’s improvement, which include landowners’ compensation; P7. billion to program beneficiaries’ development made up of support services in the form of basic rural infrastructure projects and skills development program; and P1 billion to agrarian justice delivery. Bondoc found an ally in the course defending the department’s budget through former DAR Secretary-turned-partylist representatives Nasser Pangandaman of the AA Kasosyo Partylist. Pangandaman sought the replenishment of the credit facility in the DAR’s budget, which was left unfunded, to enable the agency to serve the needs of farmer-beneficiaries for much-needed capital for farm inputs.

Coop-Natcco Partylist Rep. Cresente Paez joined Pangandaman in his move, saying that the lack of capital is one of the major obstacles to improving the lives of farmer-beneficiaries, most of them are forced to approach loan sharks for farm inputs. Bondoc agreed with Pangandaman and Paez on the need to restore the budget for credit facility and even asked them to join her in lobbying the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) about it.

She said she would furnish the DBM with minutes of what had transpired during the budget hearing at the plenary to give it an insight on the issue.

DAR hosts seminar on climate-proofing for agrarian reform comunities

The warning is dire. Scientists say that even if the earth’s hot temperature on global warming is reduced significantly in the coming years, climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, and other severe weather events are likely to result in food shortages, increase in water and air-borne diseases, infrastructure damage and the of natural resources degradation.

To help farmers adapt to these inevitable eventualities, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation; Development (or GIZ) recently conducted a five-day seminar-workshop on “Climate Proofing for Development:

  • Practical application for agrarian reform communities” at the Century Park Hotel in Malate, Manila. The GIZ, Adaptation to Climate Change;
  • Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCBio) trainers and the Phil.
  • Atmospheric Geophysical;
  • Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) presented to DAR studies made on the ill effects of climate change on farms and farming communities in the country.

Undersecretary for Special Programs; Agrarian Relations Rosalina Bistoyong said the seminar-workshop seeks to understand and learn how to adapt to the climate changes and integrate it in development plans for agrarian reform communities. We at DAR believe that we cannot delay making adaptation plans and actions to ensure that maladaptation [by farmers] will not worsen adverse climate change effects and impede their sustainable development,” said Bistoyong. “Climate adaptation ways like planting trees, composting, using bio-friendly fertilizers, organic farming, are just some of the ways the farmers can use to help mitigate climate change,” said Corrine Canlas of GIZ. With the climate change impacts we have been experiencing like floods, typhoons and the el nino and la nina phenomena, implementers need to learn the ways and means to adapt to these [eventualities], so that they can put strategies to add development plans for farmers in the agrarian reform communities,” added Canlas. Bistoyong said that the implementers will also teach farmers measures to avoid the bad effects of chemicals on the environment and contribute in minimizing global warming. This course will help our implementers in making necessary developments plans so that our farmers will be able to cope, adapt and sustain their livelihood in the face of climate change,” Bistoyong said.

Biliran Agrarian Reform Officer Elisea Orapa said rehabilitation works by the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) started early last month, and is expected to be completed in three months time. Orapa cited the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for rehabilitating the 1. 7-kilometer farm-to-market road in Sitio Kasabangan where some 562 meters of this will be concreted for easier and farther conveyance of farm products to the market.

Eliasem Castillo, Regional Director of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas, said the projects, courtesy of the Japan International Cooperation Agency-Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (JICA-ARISP), would help double farm produce of farmer-beneficiaries in the Balaquid Agrarian Reform Community (ARC). Castillo added that the two projects cost about P8-million, with the local government unit providing 50 percent as its counterpart equity.

Ismael Aya-ay, chief of the Beneficiaries Development Coordinating Division (BDCD) of the DAR-Biliran said that about 60 of the 530 ARBs in the ARC will directly benefit from the irrigation project, while some 1,686 residents here and in nearby villages will be benefited by the farm-to-market road. ARCs are group of barangays with farmers awarded with land titles where there is a convergence of support services provided by the national and local governments, non-government organizations and foreign-donor communities.

Programs of the department of agriculture land tenure improvement

The LTI component seeks to secure the tenurial status of the farmers and farmworkers in the lands they till. This is operationalized either through land acquisition and distribution (LAD) and leasehold operations. LAD involves the redistribution of government and private agricultural lands to landless farmers and farmworkers. This is the essence of land reform. It secures farmers' tenure, promotes social equity, and provides them with necessary productive resources needed to ensure their economic viability and productivity. Leasehold operations, on the other hand, is the alternative non-land transfer scheme.

It covers all tenanted agricultural lands such those in the retained areas, not yet acquired for distribution under CARP, and those which may be validly covered under existing laws. With the enactment of RA 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms in 2009, LAD should be completed by June 30, 2014 on a province-by-province basis. All remaining unacquired and undistributed agricultural lands shall be acquired and distributed as follows:

Phase I (01 July 2009 to 30 June 2012)

  • All remaining lands above fifty (50) hectares;
  • All private agricultural lands with aggregate landholdings in excess of fifty (50) hectares which have already been issued Notices of Coverage (NOCs) on or before Dec. 10, 2008;
  • Rice and corn lands under PD 27; idle and abandoned lands; Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) lands;
  • All lands foreclosed by government financial institutions (GFIs), PCGG-acquired lands and other government-owned lands;
  • Voluntary Land Transfer (VLT) submitted by June 30, 2009 (before effectivity);
  • Only VOS & Compulsory Acquisition (CA) are allowed after June 30, 2009;

Phase II-A (01 July 2009 to 30 June 2012)

  • All alienable and disposable, arable public agricultural lands;
  • All public agricultural lands which are to be opened for new development and resettlement;
  • Aggregate above 24-50 hectares issued NOCs on or before 10 December 2008)

Phase II-B (01 July 2012 to 30 June 2013)

  • Remaining lands in excess of 24 hectares whether or not issued with NOCs

Phase III-A (01 July 2012 to 30 June 2013)

10-24 hectares, insofar as excess of 10 hectares Phase III-B (01 July 2013 to 30 June 2014) above 5 hectares to 10 hectares

  • EXCEPTION: priority land reform areas as declared by PARC (Presidential Agrarian Reform Council) ExCom upon recommendation of the PARCCOM (Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee) may be covered in advance provided that prior phases have been completed

Phase III-B

(5-10 hectares) shall not be implemented until 90% of the provincial balance as of Jan. 1, 2009 has been completed.

Under RA 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (from 1987 to June 2009), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) covered 2,321,064 has. of private agricultural lands and 1, 727, 054 has. non-private agricultural lands covering a total of 4, 049, 018 has. This is equivalent to 2, 396, 857 ARBs installed. Congruently, under RA 9700 (July 2009 – December 2010) , 78, 145 has. private agricultural lands and 75, 862 has. of non-private agricultural lands were distributed. This totals to 154,007 has. equivalent to 97, 712 ARBs installed.

Strategic Directions up to 2014

To substantially complete asset reform as mandated by RA 9700, the DAR shall:

  • Complete land acquisition and distribution (LAD) in the CARPER balance;
  • Prioritize the subdivision of collective Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) involving LBP-compensable lands;
  • Fast track the documentation and settlement of landowner compensation for already distributed lands;
  • Synergize and rationalize the efforts of the CARP implementing agencies in all processes of LAD;
  • Partner with the civil society organizations in the delivery of LTI services, particularly the large-sized private agricultural lands;
  • Adopt a job-sharing scheme under the ONE-DAR Concept;
  • Increase the utilization of the services of geodetic engineers to assist in land acquisition.

Program beneficiares development

PBD is the support services component of CARP. It aims to capacitate ARBs and provide them access to the necessary support services to make their lands more productive, enable them to venture in income generating livelihood projects and actively participate in community governance.

Agrarian reform does not rely on land distribution alone, but also on the delivery of support services, including farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation, post harvest facilities, rural electrification, potable water supply, school buildings, multi-purpose buildings; extension services, credit assistance, and trainings.

  • 709,187 ARBs fully served under the foreign-assisted projects
  • 7,170 infrastructure projects
  • 976 communal irrigation projects completed
  • 3018 functional ARB-organizations operate (ALDA Level 3,4,5)
  • 316,610 ARB members are already managing their own farm & non-farm enterprises

Support services delivered through the Foreign Assisted Projects (FAPs) and Agrarian Reform Fund (ARF):

  • 13,259 kilometers of FMR
  • 226,015 hectares serviced by irrigation systems
  • 194 multi-purpose buildings
  • 174 bridge projects (10,473 linear meters)
  • 428 units of post harvest facilities
  • 999 units of potable water systems

Other infrastructure projects provided:

  • Health centers, school buildings, flood control, rural electrification,& sanitation systems.

Non-infrastructure programs include:

  • Demonstration farms, rural micro-enterprises, training of ARB leaders, & health and nutrition

The DAR adopted the development of agrarian reform communities (ARC) in 1993 to improve the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). It was the department's key strategy to accelerate and sustain economic growth in agrarian reform and rural areas through a people-centered, holistic and area focused approach in community development. Since then, the DAR has launched 2,100 ARCs covering 1. million of ARBs in 9,076 barangays. Because of the size limitation of ARCs and the increasing number of ARBs in need of basic support services, the DAR expanded the coverage of its support services through the KALAHI (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan) Agrarian Reform Zones (KARZones). A KARZone is a contiguous area which embraces both ARC barangays and non-ARC barangays within the zone.

Strategic Directions up to 2014

The agrarian reform must be able to lift the ARBs out of poverty and transform them into drivers of rural economic growth. Land distribution is only the first step. Provision of adequate and timely support services are impetus to make the awarded lands productive.

Thus, PBD priorities for 2012-2014 shall be to:

  • Undertake convergence initiatives with rural development agencies to complement the resources and streamline the efforts of DAR and DENR;
  • Ink public-private partnerships (PPPs), develop models of collaboration and design business models in the agrarian reform areas with the participation of the CSOs, academe, research and development institutions and LGUs;
  • Expand the ODA portfolio in order to augment funds for PBD;
  • Operationalize the LTI-PBD integration on a province-to-province basis;
  • Shift focus of low LAD-balance provinces to PBD;
  • Unlock credit facilities for the agrarian reform beneficiaries through capacity development for credit providers and farmer-borrowers, providing support to risk mitigating institutions and making available credit information to credit providers

Agrarian justice delivery

Delivery of agrarian justice has two features: the agrarian legal assistance and adjudication of cases. Agrarian legal assistance is comprised of resolution of agrarian law implementation (ALI) cases, ARB representation before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, and mediation and conciliation. On the other hand, Adjudication of cases involves the resolution of cases by the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) and any of its salas. Under RA 6657, the DAR is vested with the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and to extend free legal assistance to farmer-beneficiaries affected by agrarian cases.

There are three types of cases under this program namely: judicial or court cases, quasi-judicial, and cases related to agrarian law implementation (ALI). The first two types involve representation of farmers by DAR lawyers before the regular courts and DAR Adjudication Board, respectively. The third type involves the administrative rendering of decision on exemption, conversion and retention. The DAR at present utilizes more aggressive alternative dispute resolution techniques in mediation to reduce conflicts maturing into court cases. The general objective is to persuade the contending parties to settle their disputes amicably or out of court before the DAR.

Strategic Directives

The legal sector intends to provide effective and timely support not only for agrarian reform frontliners in the field of operations and support services but also for the ARBs. Hence, to speed up the resolution of agrarian-related cases, the sector shall:

  • Put the legal framework in place to expedite the LAD process and undertake PBD lawyering;
  • Rationalize DAR lawyers’ and paralegals’ appreciation and decision on cases by developing common templates and legal outlines;
  • Improve capabilities of DAR lawyers and legal officers to adequately address AR challenges;
  • Tap information and communication technology to enhance legal work.
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