• Church seeks land for the landless

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    SAYING it cannot remain silent on the cries of farmers, the Catholic Church on Monday called on President Benigno Aquino 3rd to complete his late mother’s unfinished legacy to provide lands to landless farmers as mandated by the Constitution.

    Nueva Caceres Archbishop Roland Tria Tirona, head, National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace/Caritas Philippines, said almost three decades have passed since the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was implemented but justice remains elusive to thousands of farmers who are yet to own their land.

    By rendering justice to the farmers, Tirona added, the President would be able to give meaning to the spirit of the EDSA Revolution that brought his mothe—former President Corazon “Cory” Aquino—to Malacañang though the support of the masses.

    He said distribution of agricultural lands is mandated by the Constitution even without much-awaited agrarian reform as the Church has pushed for immediate passage of two agrarian reform bills that are pending at the House of Representatives.

    “We will continuously appeal to the sense of justice and compassion of the President and the Congress. While we welcome his respect for subsidiarity of government agencies, he is also duty-bound to directly look after the rights of the poor which must precede his decisions and actions,” the archbishop added.

    House Bill (HB) 4296 seeks to renew for two years the Department of Agrarian Reform’s authority to issue notices of coverage and provide adequate funding for support services to agricultural landholdings that have not yet been placed under CARP.

    HB 4375 seeks to create an independent Agrarian Reform Commission to review actual accomplishments of CARP and investigate circumventions and violations of the CARP Law with a view to cause these landholdings to be redistributed to qualified beneficiaries.

    In June 2014, Aquino certified as “urgent” passage of HB 4296, although the House is yet to pass the supposed priority bill on third and final reading eight months after the President’s certification.

    The HB 4296 counterpart measure, Senate Bill 2278, was passed last September.

    HB 437 does not yet have a counterpart measure in the Senate and such needs to be certified by the President as a priority measure.

    Rep. Teddy Baguilat said almost 300,000 hectares of land can still be subjected to land reform, a far cry from the 29,000 hectares declared by the DAR.

    The top five provinces with coverable lands are Quezon with 62,998.24 hectares, Negros Occidental, 56,660.04 hectares; Leyte, 52,089.12 hectares; Aurora, 33,605 hectares; and Palawan, 8,812.57 hectares. Nueva Ecija is sixth with 8,808.11 hectares.

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    6 Comments

    1. Why do you have to run over the lands what do we get from agriculture since every year there are several fucking storms destroying our crops why dont you do your so called fucking carp land redorm with the rich businesses all over the country businessmen are richer that those with lands. They need to share their wealth too.

    2. When a landed multi-billionaire tells you to give up your land and they keep theirs, you know you are not just talking to a hypocrite, you’re talking to an asshole.

      When this landed multi-billionaire dresses like a bishop then teaches you to violate two of the ten commandments* you know your not talking to a man of God, you are talking to the Devil in disguise.

      *8th Commandment: Thou Shall Not Steal
      10th Commandment: Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Goods

    3. Just wondering how the church can back up this bill when it wasn’t successful for almost 3 generations already. Can you also share your own property to these farmers? And also, share the property private citizens gifted to you in order to help theses farmers? Are you ready to handle little to zero church collection because church goers won’t have anything to share coz you are part of the group who took their land which was inherited from their elders?
      Stop using religion to move your own interest. God would never want such unfair thing to happen!

    4. The Philippine Catholic Church has land holdings. They can show the way by donating them too.

      • problem is the church are manage by hypocrite priests. they owned a big chuck of idle land yet they shamelessly asked other to give up their land to the poor. look, manila diocese is the riches diocese in the world yet they never spend even a centavos to help the poor. worst cardinal tagle now talk like SIN, just liked sin he support whoever in power to protect theirs business interest.