IMPACT OF DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY – COMPREHENSIVE AGRARIAN REFORM PROGRAM TO AGRARIAN REFORM COMMUNITIES ASSISTED
THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
In consonance with the avowed policy of the state to promote social justice and to move the nation toward rural development and industrialization, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (RA 6657) was enacted on 10 June 1988. The law spells out the mechanism for the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) which aims to redistribute all public and private agricultural lands, including lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture. Under the program, landowners are allowed to retain a maximum of five hectares.
The CARP, which is primarily envisioned to accomplish equity objectives through land distribution, also aims to address efficiency issues by increasing farm productivity. Improved farm productivity is expected to be accomplished through the adoption of appropriate farming practices and technology by the new landowners and the provision of the complementary support services. These include, among others, infrastructure support, credit, technical training and appropriate technology. The program is also designed to encourage production in idle and abandoned lands which is expected to increase overall land productivity.
In view of its comprehensive scope, the implementation of the CARP involves the Department of Trade and Industry through the establishment of the Small and Medium Industry Technology Transfer Development Program (SMITTDP) in July 1989. SMITTDP is primarily supportive of the government’s focus on countryside development through setting up of rural industries. More specifically, SMITTDP promotes entrepreneurship and enterprise development among the farmers and affected landowners and provides the services necessary to ensure the success of their projects; such as: 1. To tap the idle manpower of farmer-beneficiaries and their immediate families for income-generating projects, thereby increasing their household incomes and stimulating industrial activity in their communities; and 2. To harness the landowners’ land compensation toward investments in viable agro-industrial projects in their respective communities, municipalities, provinces and/or regions, thereby providing local employment opportunities and ultimately spurring countryside development. Program assistance is directed to Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) nationwide. DTI-CARP provides support services to farmers and affected landowners and their families. Particularly, it assists cooperatives/associations of farmers, landowners, women, and youths, who are capable of managing micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The program provides comprehensive package of support services to stimulate agro-industrial activities in the ARCs. These services are in the form of: * Trainings/Seminars. Productivity improvement, managerial, basic and upgrading skills trainings/seminars guiding thebeneficiaries with right values/attitudes toward entrepreneurship; * Studies. Preparation of pre-investment studies, feasibility studies, market studies and research, and other relevant studies generating investments in MSMEs in the ARCs; * Market Development Assistance. Market development through trade fairs, market matching, selling missions, market information services/promotional collaterals and product development, which includes designing, prototyping, packaging, labeling, and product/quality improvement; and * Consultancy Services. Providing expert advice on areas related to planning, development, management, and operation of MSMEs. After almost 22 years of implementation, the question of whether the program has moved towards the attainment of its efficiency and equity objectives may be asked. In order to determine the status and performance of the program implementation, the researcher...