DAR asked to retain CARL beneficiaries in Batangas property

Bella Cariaso - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — A farmers’ group has asked the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to revoke its order removing more than 1,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from Hacienda Roxas in Nasugbu, Batangas.

In a petition filed with the help of the Sentro Para sa Tunay na Repormang Agraryo (Sentra), the petitioners said the DAR order and a compromise agreement made on their behalf violated Republic Act 6657, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law or CARL, as amended by RA 9700, or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reform or CARPER. 

Sentra executive director Jobert Pahilga said that farmer-beneficiaries have been cultivating the land for years. 

“It goes against the basic precepts of justice, fairness and equity to deprive them, through no fault of their own, of the land they till,” the petition read.

Pahilga, who serves as counsel for the petitioners, said the CARL and CARPER mandate the acquisition and distribution of agricultural property to landless farmers who have been tilling the land. 

“CARL is a social justice legislation. Whether an agricultural land is covered by its provision is not subject to compromise,” Pahilga said.

He said the Katipunan ng mga Magbubukid sa Hacienda Roxas Inc. (KAMAHARI) and the Damayan ng Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Roxas-National Federation of Sugar Workers (DAMBA-NFSW), which negotiated the compromise agreement, have no authority to decide for and on the behalf of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“The compromise agreement, although approved by the DAR, is null and void. It is not valid and binding to (the ARBs),” he said.

On Dec 29, 2023, the DAR issued a consolidated order splitting a 2,938- hectare property registered under the name of Roxas and Co. Inc (RCI).

The parcels of land, all located in Nasugbu, were placed under the coverage of the CARL.

Certificates of land ownership awards were issued to the beneficiaries.

The RCI filed a protest and applied for the conversion of the property into other usage.

The KAMAHARI and DAMBA-NFSW agreed to withdraw and accepted the compromise agreement that the RCI proposed. 

“The agreement paved the way for the issuance of the consolidated order, which allowed the RCI to retain 1,322 hectares of land covered by CARL and have been distributed to ARBs,” Pahilga said.

He said part of the DAR decision allegedly mandated farmer-beneficiaries to vacate areas located outside the other part of the property awarded to them as well as turn these over to the RCI.

vuukle comment




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with