HomeEquality & JusticePhilippines’ 36th agrarian reform program anniversary met with protest

Philippines’ 36th agrarian reform program anniversary met with protest

A peasant group criticized the continuation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s administration for favoring large landholders and agribusinesses during a protest in front of the Department of Agriculture in Quezon City on June 10. 

The demonstration marked 36 years since the inception of the program, which the Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women claimed has failed to deliver genuine land reform.

Zen Soriano, Chairperson of Amihan, condemned the program for perpetuating land monopolies by the elite, despite decades of supposed agrarian reform. 

“Our farmers still struggle for ownership of their land, and these so-called reforms have only intensified violations against peasant communities,” she said. 

The protesters highlighted the ongoing disputes and threats of displacement in regions such as Tarlac, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna. 

They also criticized the new Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) initiative by the Department of Agrarian Reform, which they argue could lead to greater exploitation through onerous loans and potential foreclosures.

Soriano expressed opposition to proposed amendments to the Philippine Constitution that would allow foreign entities to own significant agricultural lands, a move she views as a threat to national sovereignty and food security. 

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“This is a direct attack on our farmers and the country’s food providers. The ongoing crisis of landlessness and escalating food insecurity are direct results of these misguided policies,” she explained.

The protest is part of a series of actions leading up to the third anniversary of Marcos’ term, signaling a sustained effort by Amihan and its allies to challenge policies they believe harm farmers and exacerbate agricultural crises.

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