200,000 hectares of land remain undistributed in Southern Tagalog

THE militant peasant group Katipunan ng mga Samahang Magbubukid sa Timog Katagalugan (KASAMA-TK) today said more than 200,000 hectares of land remain undistributed in the Southern Tagalog Region alone.

“If  Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) has any success to boast of, it would be keeping the big landholdings in the hands of the landlords. If that is the objective of the law, to keep millions of farmers slaves in the hands of a few landlords, then we can say the Aquino administration is doing a very good job. It served landlords well,” says Axel Pinpin, secretary general of KASAMA-TK.

According to the group, more than 200,000 hectares undistributed lands in the Southern Tagalog Region remain in the hands of a few landlords in the region.

“After 24 years, CARP has failed to free the farmers from the feudal bondage that has enslaved them for hundreds of years. With all the haciendas still intact in the region, it’s still like the Spanish era in Southern Tagalog,” adds Pinpin.

Among the biggest haciendas in the region that are still untouched by CARP are Hacienda Looc in Nasugbu, Batangas (8,650 has.) and Hacienda Yulo in Calamba City (7,100 has.)

The group, together with other farmers’ organizations from different parts of the country, trooped to the Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City for a dialog. They demand for the speedy distribution of their lands, stressing that, “24 years is enough.”

But the group is apprehensive that the program will accomplish its target, saying that it is “doomed to fail.”

“If the program failed to distribute this 200,000 hectares of land in its 24 years of implementation, how can it be accomplished in 2 years?”, said Orly Macellana, spokesperson of KASAMA-TK.

CARP was extended for five years and should end by 2014.

“Wala na kaming inaasahan sa CARP. Alam naming hindi ito para sa mga magsasaka kaya matagal na naming ipinapanawagang ibasura ito,” Marcellana said.

The group also called for the enactment of HB 374 or the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB), saying that, “it is a bill that will truly serve the framers.”

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