By WENDY ATUBAN
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — With the passage of Senate Bill 2666 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) Extension Bill, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-CAR) is expecting a five billion peso annual budget for its programs in five years until June 2014. President Gloria Arroyo is expected to sign said bill on August 8 this year.
Some 8,175 farmers are also potential beneficiaries of the 26% remaining land from the 87.45% alloted for CARP. This, including the 74% already distributed before the ten years of CARP expired.
The farmers here are simply asserting ownership of the land they are tilling unlike in other areas where haciendas abound.
DAR-CAR plans to zero in on completing incomplete past projects and on initiating more support services like Farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation and post harvest facilities, rural electrification, etc. I t also looks forward to the efficient and speedy delivery of agrarian justice and the continuing of the scholarship program it initiated.
Meanwhile, it welcomes the idea of merging with agencies like the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in order to avoid conflicts or disagreements between and among them and other concerned agencies in matters relative to land titling.
DAR-CAR affirms there are really conflicting laws on titling citing as an example some Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) laws hindering titling of lands.
Joseph Domingo of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committee of Benguet has advised different line agencies to work hand in hand “because they are like fingers of the hand, they need to cooperate in order to work.” # nordis.net