An official of the Catholic Church has urged the government to strictly enforce agrarian reform to alleviate poverty instead of doling out conditional cash transfers.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez expressed alarm at the inaction of the government on their request for the extension of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) law for two more years after its June 2014 expiration.
Gariguez said the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has been very ineffective in implementing the Carper law despite the promises made by the President to the farmers.
The implementation of the Carper law was even better during the time of former President Ejercito Estrada, compared to Aquino’s administration, the priest said.
Gariguez reiterated their call for the ouster of DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes who is perceived as blocking the enforcement of the Carper law.
He claimed that the President cannot remove de los Reyes because of his personal interest in their family properties, including Hacienda Luisita.
“If you want to alleviate poverty, implement reforms to free farmers from bondage to landowners. The conditional cash transfer is not the solution,” Gariguez said.