President Benigno Aquino 3rd has certified as urgent a Senate bill extending the land acquisition and distribution component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which is due to end in three months.
Aquino on Tuesday held a closed-door dialogue with six leaders of farmers’ organizations in Malacanang and promised to fully implement the agrarian reform program by 2016.
“The President is committed to the full implementation of the CARP. He’s committed to the full implemenation of land acquisition and land distribution until 2016,” Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told a press conference.
Lacierda said the President assured farmer-groups that land distribution will not end when Republic Act 9700, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (Carper) Law, expires this month.
Section 30 of the Carper Law states that land acquisition and distribution may proceed for landholdings with pending proceedings even after June 2014.
“The DAR, under the leadership of Secretary Gil Delos Reyes, will pursue and continue to issue those notices of coverage on or before June 30,” the Palace mouthpiece said.
According to him, the President has certified as urgent a House bill extending the land acquisition and distribution component of CARP.
“As to the Senate, we are just waiting for the committee report,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lacierda said there was a “very good discussion” between the President and the farmers about the implementation of CARP.
“They expressed concerns that other branches of government must address. So the President said: ‘The issues with the executive branch, we can take care of that. But when it’s with the courts, that’s the turf of the judiciary,” he said.
“So, it was a very good discussion yesterday and so they saw that the President is committed to distributing the lands by end of 2016,” Lacierda added.