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    Posted February 7, 2014 by

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    Philippine land reform hampered

    THREE lawmakers on Friday said administrative orders issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2011 have hampered the implementation of the Agrarian Reform Law in the Philippines.
    Representatives Walden Bello, Ibarra Gutierrez and Kaka Bag-ao said Administrative Orders 7 and 9 seem to be detrimental to the expeditious implementation of land reform in landholdings affected by protests and exclusion or exemption cases.
    The lawmakers filed House Resolution 410 asking the House Committee on Agrarian Reform to conduct a probe on the matter.
    "These two issuances seem to have added additional layers in the process of giving land to covered farmer-beneficiaries," they said.
    They also said the delay caused by the two orders paved the way for several landlords to employ means such as intimidation, harassment and physical violence against farmer-beneficiaries in many parts of the country.
    The lawmakers cited the case of the Matias landholding in Bondoc Peninsula, Quezon wherein the subject land was already issued with a Notice of Coverage in 2004, but the landlords embarked on a legal offensive and utilized the protest under DAR issuances.
    "Instead of respecting the decision of DARAB, the landlords applied for exemption and thus the distribution of the land to covered farmer-beneficiaries was not implemented," they said.
    The lawmakers pointed out that DAR and other agencies involved in the implementation of land reform law should appear before the House panel.
    "They should answer the queries why they issued the orders in the first place," they said.
    Republic Act 9700 otherwise known as the "Act Strengthening the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Act" seeks the final acquisition of the remaining acquired and undistributed agricultural lands until June 30, 2014.
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