33 years since CARP, farmers are in worse state
The Communist Party of the Philippines yesterday joined the peasant masses in their cry for justice and genuine agrarian reform as they marked with protests 33 years of fake land reform under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Peasant groups noted that for three decades, only 41% of private agricultural lands were covered for land acquisition and distribution. The Philippine government has alloted a whopping cumulative P409-billion through the years, the majority of which was used for landlord compensation. Under CARP, more than 90% of so-called beneficiaries failed to pay their dues, leaving them in a worse state than ever before.
“The stark reality in the Philippines is that majority of the peasants and farm workers remain landless while land continue to be concentrated in the hands of a few landlords and foreign plantation owners,” CPP Chief Information Officer Marco Valbuena said.
Proving to be anti-farmer, under CARP and CARP Extension with Reforms (CARPER), over 100,000 hectares of productive agricultural lands were converted in favor of landlords, real estate developers and foreign capitalists by DAR since 1988.
“Land reform, to be genuine, must distribute land for free to those who till the land,” Valbuena noted. “For generations, farmers have made the land rich and productive through their labor, but have been exploited by the monopoly owners of the land,” he added.
Farmers continue to suffer from onerous land rent where landlords take away as much as 50-70% of their harvest, usurious interest payments or grossly low wages for farm workers.
In revolutionary bases and guerilla fronts, the New People’s Army (NPA) and the revolutionary masses are carrying out the minimum and maximum program for land reform as stipulated in the Revolutionary Guide to Land Reform. Over the years, millions of peasants have benefitted from this.
Valbuena said that victories in land reform strengthen the foundations of the revolutionary government’s political power in thousands of rural barangays across the country.
“By carrying out land reform, the NPA continues to gain the deep and wide support of the broad masses of peasants. The NPA, a largely peasant army, is determined to push land reform as the main content of the protracted people’s war being waged to accumulate strength to overthrow the reactionary state of the big landlord class and big bourgeois compradors,” he ended.