by: Cheong, Richelle
Tamula, Francesca Marie
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) aims to improve and increase the equity in productivity and growth among the rural areas. It aspires to provide more economic and political consent for the poor and increase their social capital. Land reform has always been part of every President's concern for the development of the country. The implementation of CARP contributes to the Philippines road to development through an equitable distribution of land.
Engaging to involve private and public lands in the program, CARP fairly aimed to convert share tenants into own cultivators of lands. Public lands, on the other hand seek to institute land settlements where large farms could be payable to landless farmers.
Early Agrarian Reform Program
The country's problem on biased agrarian structure has long been one of the major problems existing in the Philippine society. One of these problems is the unequal and shortage of land distribution. Another would be the uprisings of peasants, which occurred during the Spanish times due to the development of the hacienda and encomienda system. Because of these problems, the Americans who colonized the Philippines developed resolutions land reforms.
William H. Taft, the 27th President of the United States, came up with a plan of purchasing 166, 000 hectares of friar landholdings which were to be distributed among 60, 000 tenants. However, this plan fell short for the reason that the tenants were uneducated on the law and the lands were sold at very high prices. (Adriano, 1991)
Other than Taft's plan, Americans continuously established measures to resolve land problems. They came up with the "Homesteading Program", which basically encouraged Filipinos to settle in areas which are not fully developed and aim to improve these lands. Again, this measure did not aspire since Filipinos did not prefer to stay there. The administration decided on having an equal distribution of a 50-50 sharing on loans between the tenant and the landowner. This is known as the Public Act No. 4054, Rice Tenancy Act, which was established way back in 1933. (Adriano, 1991)
Moving on into the 1960's, the Land Reform Code gave rise to the creation of the Agricultural Credit Administration (ACA) and the Agricultural Productivity Commission (APC). These two programs basically supported the land reform programs by providing services, yet still these agendas did not succeed because of factors such as mismanagement and graft and corruption.
In Marcos' time, the administration had passed thousands of Presidential Decrees. One of these decrees primarily involved the issue on land reform. Presidential Decree No. 27 included four major program components, which are the Land Reform Code of 1963, the Operation Land Transfer and the Operation Leasehold Programs. The increase in the productivity and income of farmers was also a main concern. This decree was established for the purpose of overcoming land constraints in many of its aspects. The implementation of these proposed programs had several constraints since the coverage of lands pertained to only rice and corn. These lands concerned were also only those used in farm cultivation by 1972 and did not accommodate those that arose during 1973 and the years that followed after. There was also the limitation of having only a seven hectare farm land, while other countries had no limit to this and thus, obtaining the land was an obstacle to the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 27.
Regardless of the limitations of the decree, the Marcos administration still managed to accomplish a few measures for agrarian reform: a) Leasehold Operations
The Marcos administration was successfully able to accomplish the plan for this measure. It basically required all rice and corn tenants to have secured a written leasehold contract by the end of 1978....
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