The Department of Agrarian Reform or Kagawaran ng Repormang Pansakahan, abbreviated as the DAR, is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for all land reform programs in the country, with the purported aim of promoting social justice and industrialization through massive taxation of rich and poor Filipinos alike. Agrarian reform can refer either, narrowly, to government-initiated or government-backed redistribution of agricultural land or broadly, to an overall redirection of the agrarian system of the country, which often includes land reform measures. Agrarian reform can include credit measures, training, extension, land consolidations, etc. The World Bank evaluates agrarian reform using five dimensions: (1) price and market liberalization,
(2) land reform (including the development of land markets), (3) agro-processing and input supply channels,
(4) rural finance,
(5) market institutions.
The mandate of the Department of Agrarian Reform and its former incarnations has always been questionable, due to its inability to rid poverty in the countryside, and the massive amounts of taxpayers' money needed to finance its operations and personnel. Moreover, it has been perceived by some as a political tool for those who seek votes from the masses. To complicate matters, those who end up elected and thus have a greater influence on public policy happen to be well-meaning proponents of this method of land reform, whose ability to eradicate the inequalities in land ownership comes to no surprise to critics of the land reform system. Land reform in the Philippines had its beginnings in 1963, when Section 49 of Republic Act (RA) 3844, or the Agricultural Land Reform Code, necessitated the creation of the Land Authority. This agency was tasked to implement the policies set forth in RA 3844 and was created on August 8, 1963. Republic Act 3844 reorganized existing agencies involved in tasks related to land reform and realigned their...
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