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“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.


― Bryan Stevenson

Alleviating Poverty and Social Justice is


almost a never-ending pursuit. The pursuit
became more elusive and distant
especially to the poor and vulnerable
groups. Recent surveys reveal that Poverty
incidence have gone down significantly
over the past years. However, the farmers
sector remains [one of] the poorest sectors
of Philippine Society. Data from PSA (see
table 1) reveal that the top three sectors
with the highest poverty incidence are:
Farmers, Fisherfolk and Children.

Agrarian reform stems from two basic concepts: Poverty Alleviation and Social Justice. AR pertains to
the redistribution of agricultural lands to [landless] farmers or tillers regardless of fruits or crops
produced, irrespective of tenurial arrangements. It also involves the delivery of support services to
program beneficiaries aimed to lift their socio-economic status. This makes agrarian reform both a social
justice and poverty-alleviation program. Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law
of 1988 provided mechanisms in the implementation of Agrarian Reform in the Country. RA 6657 was
amended by the passage of RA 9700 or the CARPER, short for Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program-
Extension with Reforms.

A deeper look at the [existing] AR laws begins with the Constitutional mandate that the State shall
undertake the just distribution of all agricultural lands, subject to such priorities and reasonable
retention limits as prescribed by Congress may prescribe, taking into account ecological, developmental,
or equity considerations, and subject to the payment of just compensation.1 In addition, Section 1,
Article XIII of the Constitution, provides that the Congress shall give highest priority in ratifying measures
that protect and enhance the right of all people to human dignity, reduce social, economic and political
inequalities and to remove cultural inequities by equitably diffusing wealth and political power for the
common good. To this end, the State shall regulate the acquisition, ownership, use and disposition of
property and its increments. This comes with the concept that property has a social function. This idea
was adopted through [Section 2], RA 9700 which provides that The State shall be guided by the
principles that land has a social function and land ownership has a social responsibility. Owners of
agricultural land have the obligation to cultivate directly or through labor administration the lands
they own and thereby make the land productive.

1
Article XIII, Section 4, 1987 Philippine Constitution
The Philippines is an agricultural country, abounded by 300,000 sq. kms of land area (30 Million
Hectares), a third of which are considered agricultural lands.2 Farming has been a common source of
income in rural areas—raising crops ranging from seasonal/temporary crops to permanent crops.
Seasonal/temporary crops include but not limited to rice, maize, sorghum and other staples. Permanent
Crops are ligneous crops, mainly consist of fruit and berry trees, bushes, vines and shrubs.3

Agriculture has been the basic, if not the first form of livelihood since the dawn of civilization. Agriculture
is a must to any nation and Food Security is a paramount mandate of the government. Food security is
also National security. History reveals that food insecurity is not just a result of conflict but a significant
contributor to conflict itself.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the agri sector
accounts for 29% (almost a third) share in the national employment.4 However, this is not translated in
its contribution to the country’s economy, with only 9% share in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)5—
despite a third of the country’s workforce are engaged in agriculture.

In addition, recent surveys reveal a drop in agricultural production. [cite reference]6, attributed to
calamities—which is beyond Human Control. One foreboding threat that looms (haunts) the
agriculture/agrarian sector is the lack of interest of the younger generation to engage into farming. The
average age of Farmers is between 57-59 [insert citation]

Senator Villar wrote a column in Businessmirror describing the aging of Filipino Farmers may lead to
Food Security. He also tackled Values of farmers, who views farming as a poor livelihood with low-
income. They don’t want their Children to follow their footsteps, as the song, “Magtanim ay Di biro”
offers a good explanation why the new generation (Children of Farmers) no longer want to engage into
farming.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported 5.56 million
farms covering 7.19 million hectares, which translated to an average area of 1.29 hectares per farm.

One of the reasons why Poverty persists in the rural areas are due to lack or absence of support services.

Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 regulates the ownership,
disposition and use of agricultural lands. The CARL is dubbed “revolutionary” because …

Agrarian Reform is seen as an instrument for rural development and industrialization.

AR as an anti-poverty measure designed to uplift the lives of the poor

2
http://countrystat.psa.gov.ph/?cont=3&yr=2012
3
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Glossary:Permanent_crops
4
http://countrystat.psa.gov.ph/?cont=9
5
Id.
6
Id.
AR seeks to [as provided in the constitution] protect and enhance the right of all people to human
dignity, reduce social, economic and political inequalities and to remove cultural inequities by equitably
diffusing wealth and political power for the common good.

ON-going challenge in the agriculture and agrarian sector is making farming a productive and profitable
enterprise. This can be achieved thru consolidation of farms

Agrarian Data:

Land Acquisition & Distribution

Notes:

DAR distributes two kinds of lands (PAL & Non-PAL). LBP Compensable lands (CA, VOS, GFIs, OLT), Non-
LBP Compensable Lands (Non-PAL and VLT-DPS). A total of 2,841,680 ARBs benefitted from the program
(1972-2017).

1972 – December 2017 CARP Non-CARP Total (Gross)


Scope 5,425,343 (100%)
Hectares
Accomplishment 4,769,983 Hectares 97,621 Hectares 4,857,604 (90%)
Hectares

PAL NON-PAL Net Accomplishment


Accomplishment 2,643,347 (55%) 2,126,636 (45%) 4,769,983

LBP-Compensable Non-LBP Compensable Net Accomplishment


Accomplishment 1,807,331 (38%) 2,962,653 (62%) 4,769,983

*Non-CARP accomplishment accounts for 87, 621 Hectares (1.8% of DAR’s total accomplishment 1972-
2017)

CARP (RA 6657) 2009- CARPER (RA 9700) 2009- TOTAL (GROSS)
prior 2017
Target 4,059,675 1,365,668 5,425,343
Accomplishment 4,106,528 751,076 (55%) 4,857,604 (90%)

LBP-compensable lands require a longer period to document and acquire since it undergoes valuation
process which Landowners contest or resist the coverage of their lands. the new administration is faced
with the task of distributing lands which takes time to acquire, document and distribute since most of
the NOn-Private Agricultural Lands are already distributed.

DAR still needs to distribute 561, 131 hectares (as of 2018)

The Agrarian Justice Delivery Program of the Department is unique among the CARP-implementing
agencies.

Apart from DAR, other CARP Implementing Agencies also provide support in program implementation.
This can be in a form credit facility, CSFs or Common Service Facilities, training packages among others.
Unique in the CARL (as stipulated under Section 49 & 50 of RA 6657 as amended) is the power of the
Department and the PARC to issue rules and regulations, whether substantive or procedural, to carry out
the objects and purposes of the law. Specifically, Section 50 vests DAR with the primary jurisdiction to
determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over all
matters involving the implementation of agrarian reform except those falling under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR). It shall not be bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence but shall proceed
to hear and decide all cases, disputes or controversies in a most expeditious manner, employing all
reasonable means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance with justice and equity and the merits
of the case.

In addition, it shall have the power to summon witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony, require
submission of reports, compel the production of books and documents and answers to interrogatories
and issue subpoena, and subpoena duces tecum, and enforce its writs through sheriffs or other duly
deputized officers. It shall likewise have the power to punish direct and indirect contempt in the same
manner and subject to the same penalties as provided in the Rules of Court. Lastly, the decision of the
DAR shall be immediately executory, notwithstanding an appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Delivery of Agrarian Justice

The Agrarian Legal Services of the Department of Agrarian Reform is headed by the Office of the
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs. The ALS is comprised of the following: Office of the Assistant Secretary
for Legal Affairs (ALAO), Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA), DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB),
DAR Legal Service (LS), Provincial and Regional Chiefs Legal, Provincial and Regional AR Adjudicators and
Technical and Support staff of the ALS Sector.

ADJUDICATION OF AGRARIAN REFORM CASES

Under the Adjudication of Agrarian Reform Cases, DARAB (National) posted a whooping 99%
accomplishment. From 1988 to End of December 2017, the cumulative No. of Cases received for
adjudication numbered to 534,409, 528,166 of which was resolved. Top performing Regions that posted
a 100% accomplishment are the following: CAR, 1,2, 4A & 4B, 6, 7 & CARAGA.

No. of Cases % Accomplishment


ADJUDICATION OF CASES
1988-DEC 2017
CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 534,409
No. of Cases Resolved 528,166 99
BALANCE (Pending Cases) 6,243 1

AGRARIAN LEGAL ASSISTANCE

RESOLUTION OF ALI CASES

Resolution of Agrarian Law Implementation Cases is pegged at 96.71%, covering 799, 493 out of the
Cumulative Case Load of 826,700 [cases] from 1993 to December 2017. This leaves a balance of 3.29%.
Cordillera Autonomous Region and Regions 4A & 4B posted 100% accomplishment. Other regions
posted above 90% accomplishment except for Regions NIR7 and ARMM with accomplishments posted at
76% and 65% respectively.

ALI Cases are cases defined by DAR Administrative Order No. 3 Series of 2003:

 Classification and identification of landholdings for coverage under the agrarian reform program
and the initial issuance of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and Emancipation
Patents (EPs), including protests or oppositions thereto and petitions for lifting of such
coverage;
 Classification, identification, inclusion, exclusion, qualification, or disqualification of
potential/actual farmer-beneficiaries;
 Subdivision surveys of land under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform (CARP);
 Recall, or cancellation of provisional lease rentals, Certificates of Land Transfers (CLTs) and CARP
Beneficiary Certificates (CBCs) in cases outside the purview of Presidential Decree (PD) No. 816,
including the issuance, recall, or cancellation of Emancipation Patents (EPs) or Certificates of
Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) not yet registered with the Register of Deeds;
 Exercise of the right of retention by landowner;
 Application for exemption from coverage under Section 10 of RA 6657;
 Application for exemption pursuant to Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 44 (1990);
 Exclusion from CARP coverage of agricultural land used for livestock, swine, and poultry raising;
 Cases of exemption/exclusion of fishpond and prawn farms from the coverage of CARP pursuant
to RA 7881;
 Issuance of Certificate of Exemption for land subject of Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) and
Compulsory Acquisition (CA) found unsuitable for agricultural purposes;
 Application for conversion of agricultural land to residential, commercial, industrial, or other
non-agricultural uses and purposes including protests or oppositions thereto;
 Determination of the rights of agrarian reform beneficiaries to homelots;
 Disposition of excess area of the tenant's/farmer-beneficiary's landholdings;
 Increase in area of tillage of a tenant/farmer-beneficiary;
 Conflict of claims in landed estates administered by DAR and its predecessors; and
 Such other agrarian cases, disputes, matters or concerns referred to it by the Secretary of the
DAR.

7
Negros Island Region (NIR) was created thru Executive Order (EO) No. 183. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte issued
EO 38 series of 2017, revoking EO 183. The new EO reverts the provinces to their respective regions—Negros
Occidental (Western Visayas, Region 6) while Negros Oriental under Region 7, Central Visayas.
(1993-December 2017) No. of Cases % Accomplishment
CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 826,700
No. of Cases Resolved 799,493 96.71
Balance (Pending Cases) 27,207 3.29

REPRESENTATION IN JUDICIAL & QUASI-JUDICIAL COURTS

JUDICIAL REPRESENTATION

A total of 25,747 cases were resolved from 1993 to December 2017 with a cumulative caseload of 26,
676. This is pegged at 96.52% accomplishment.

(1993-December 2017) No. of Cases % Accomplishment


CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 26,676
No. of Cases Resolved 25,747 96.52
Balance (Pending Cases) 929 3.48

QUASI-JUDICIAL REPRESENTATION

Representation in Quasi-Judicial bodies reached 96.94%, equivalent to 307,688 out of a total caseload of
317,394 from 1993 to December 2017.

(1993-December 2017) No. of Cases % Accomplishment


CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 317,394
No. of Cases Resolved 307,688 96.94
Balance (Pending Cases) 9,706 3.06

MEDIATION OF AGRARIAN REFORM DISPUTES

(1993-December 2017) No. of Cases % Accomplishment


CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 901,345
No. of Cases Resolved 900,923 99.95
Balance (Pending Cases) 422 0.05

ENFORCEMENT (Resolution of DARAB & ALI Cases)

(1993-December 2017) No. of Cases % Accomplishment


CASELOAD (No. of Cases) 1,361,109
No. of Cases Resolved 1,327,659 97.54
Balance (Pending Cases) 33,450 2.46
Bulk of the function of the department is delivering support services to program beneficiaries.

Technical Advisory and Support Services

No. of ARCs Launched (1993- 2216


2017)
Coverage
Municipalities 1288
Barangays 9724
ARBs 1, 526, 633

No. of ARBs Trained (1987-2017)


Total 5,586,640
IN ARCs 5,148,902
Outisde ARCs 437,738

Credit & MF Assistance

As of Dec 2017
No. of ARBOs developed as MF 1,172
providers
No. of ARBOs provided with 10,158
CREDIT
NO. of Projects/Enterprises 361,042
Funded
Amount of Loan availed to Fund 14, 692, 493, 681
Projects /Enterprises (in terms
of PHp)
NO. of ARBs provided with 1,474,113
Credit and MF Assistance

DAR CREDIT PROGRAMS

 CAP-PBD Window III—Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development


 Microfin CAP @ ARAs—DAR LBP Microfinance Capacity Development Program in Agrarian
Reform Areas
 MICOOP—DAR-NATCCO Microfinance Innovations in Cooperatives in Agrarian Reform Areas
 MALP—Micro Agri Loan Product
 DAR-CARD—DAR Center for Agriculture and Rural Development
 APCP—Agrarian Reform Credit Program

DAR Terminated/Completed Projects:


DAR-LCAP, DAR-TLRC, KMI, QUEDANCOR, LBP-DAR-UNDP-SARDIC, RASCP, and WMCIP

ARBOs Developed as MF Providers:

As of Dec 2017 (2013-2017)


Target 671
Accomplishment 1172
% Accomplishment 175%

ARBOs provided with Credit and Microfinance Assistance

As of Dec 2017 (2009-2017)


Target 9592
Accomplishment 10,158
% Accomplishment 106%

ARBs provided with Credit & Microfinance Assistance

As of Dec 2017 (1988-2017)


Target 1,151,866
Accomplishment 1,474,113
% Accomplishment 128%

No. of Projects/Enterprises funded, and amount of loan availed to finance such projects/enterprise/s

As of Dec 2017 (2009-2017)


No. of Projects/Enterprises Funded (1988- 361,042
2015)
Amount of Loan availed to Finance these 14, 692, 493, 681
projects

ACCESS FACILITATION and ACCESS ENHANCEMENT (1987-DEC 2015)

FMR (9,589 projects, 23, 434.64 kms)

Bridges (498 Projects, 18, 866 linear meters)

Irrigration (1,576 projects, servicing 285, 370.42 hectares)

Post Harvest Facilities (730 projects, 3,705 units

Others--693 projects)

Total Projects Completed-13,086 Projects Completed

Challenges in AR Reform implementation


The carl contains legal & political compromises

• The Stock Distribution Option (SDO)

• The priority on Public Lands

• The continuing application of old land laws

• The conflicting mandates of CARP-implementing agencies

The CARPER DEADLINE impedes program implementation

• Failure of PARC to formulate blueprint to ensure completion of LAD from 2009 – 2014

• Private Lands subject to compulsory acquisition were excluded from the LAD process (575,272
Hectares)

• Clash of policies in program implementation with regard to ownership ceiling, transfer


actions, and land-use conversion

• Confusion as regards to true and current status of agrarian reform

• Divergent legislative initiatives to chart the future of AR

Overlapping jurisdictions in land use conversion

• Confusion in both public and private sectors on differences between conversion and
reclassification

• Absence of inter-agency rules on reversion to agricultural lands

• Lack of coordination between the concerned Registry of Deeds and the agencies engaged in
conversion and reclassification

Dar issued collective cloas to increase lad balance

• Collective CLOAs as a convenient way to abbreviate the LAD process. The practice abused the
provisions on allowable grounds for collective titles under CARL

• It was an interim measure but individual titling did not continue because it was already
booked as an accomplishment.

• The current initiative for individual titles must hurdle challenges on identification of FBs,
parcelization of awarded lands and removal of non-agricultural areas (i.e. roads, creeks, rivers,
etc.)

THERE IS A need to assert that only natural persons are arbS

1. A basic qualification of a beneficiary shall be his willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate
and make the land as productive as possible.

2. The lands covered by the CARP shall be distributed as much as possible to landless residents
of the same barangay, or in the absence thereof, landless residents of the same municipality.
3. The order of priority in Section 22, RA 6657, as amended does not intend to place the juridical
person as a substitute beneficiary

The state failed to ensure that AVAs will always benefit arbs

1. The DAR failed to ensure its participation in the negotiation and execution of certain AVAs

2. The DAR and PARC failed to continuously monitor the AVAs

3. The DAR allowed other agencies and the courts to assume jurisdiction on AVA issues despite
being “agrarian dispute”

4. PARC and DARAB both handle AVA revocation

5. There is need to streamline CSW on AVA complaints

6. PARC must ensure speedy disposition of AVA cases

7. New rules on AVA must be formulated

substantive and procedural rules on illegal conversion are confusing

1. Remove the “element of intent” in the crime of illegal conversion

2. Harmonize the provisions on illegal conversion (RA 6657) and premature conversion (AFMA
Law, RA 8435)

3. Reactivate the Task Force on Illegal Conversion in all provinces

4. Conduct joint discussions and training of DAR and Prosecutors on penal sanctions for AR laws
violation

5. Conduct joint discussions and training with PNP and AFP on penal sanctions for AR laws
violation

6. Reformulate the laws on the Crime of Agrarian Reform Violations

The RULES FOR DISPOSITION OF JUST COMPENSATION CASES resulted to backlog

1. ADR must be injected in the process of determining just compensation

2. The PARC or Congress should remove the exclusive jurisdiction of SACs

3. The DARAB should fast-track the resolution of all just compensation administrative cases

4. The courts should have a uniform manner of determining just compensation

The judiciary must clarify its role in program implementation

1. Lower Courts have been issuing TROs, PMIs, and Writs of Permanent Injunction versus CARP
ignoring quasi-judicial powers of DAR under RA 6657
2. Lower courts must be reminded of the its duty of automatic referral to DAR of cases with
agrarian disputes

3. Recent jurisprudence affecting program implementation must be carefully studied :

3.1. LBP vs. Dalauta (GR No. 190004): Just Compensation

3.2. DAR et al. vs Carriedo (GR No. 176549): CLOAs are not TCTs

3.3. Salas vs. Cabungcal (GR No. 191545): Resolve doubts in favor of ARBs

3.4. Roxas & Co. (GR No. 127876): CLOA Cancellation