Carp: Property and Agrarian Reform Program

The Philippines Republic Act No. 6657, which institutes the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), declares two objectives in its title: to promote social justice and to promote industrialization. Section 2 of the Act is more specific by pronouncing: “The welfare of the landless farmers and farm workers will receive highest consideration to promote social justice and to move the nation toward sound rural development and industrialization….

To this end a more equitable distribution and ownership of land shall be undertaken to provide farmers and farm workers with the opportunity to enhance their dignity and improve the quality of their lives through greater productivity of agricultural lands” (Government of the Philippines, 1988, p. 3). For many years, farmers till agricultural lands not for themselves but for the landowners and being paid for the job done.

They even not own the house that they lived in; they act as caretakers of the land and they do not have benefits aside from the payment that they get from doing the job. Our government formulate ways to abolish large landed property and feudal production system. The rural population should be appeased and integrated into the society, and this would contribute to the political stability of the country.

Comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) aims at reducing the inequalities in income, wealth and living standards and at strengthening independent and self reliant farmers. The economic objectives of such reforms are to abolish inefficient production structures, exploit the efficiency of family farms, increase agricultural production and increase demand for farm inputs and services that stimulate development in the non-agricultural sector. The primary objective of CARP is to distribute land to the landless and to maintain economic sized farms in Philippine Agriculture.

This will result in a redefinition of property rights among landowner, tenants, hired laborers and landless workers since it transfers ownership of land from one party to another. The farmers now have land of their own to till, from ordinary workers who till others land to owners of their own field. Land that is awarded to them can be passed down to their children. The consequences of having land awarded by CARP are; since farmers are on their own, capital for their livelihood is shouldered by them.

They do not have enough capital to cultivate their land, aside from not enough education given by the government to the farmers on how to manage their land. They do not have enough support coming from the government and in the end, the land given to them will be sold and farmers will become landless again because of poverty. They should have at least been supported up to the point that farmers can put up their own cooperative that can assist them when they are in need.

Another setback is the failure of the government to provide just compensation to landowners, causing injustices to many concerned parties. There are also loop holes concerning agrarian reform wherein land owners can evade the reform law. In order for the land owners be paid accordingly or even higher, they convert their land to industrial or residential area. Another issue is most of the politicians owned large land property; they should at least be included on agrarian reform program for the essence of public service.