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TFM doubts DAR’s pledge to
reach CARP land target

The Department of Agrarian Reform will have to work 20 times its current pace if it wants to distribute 32,000 hectares of land in Negros Occidental this year, a press release from Task Force Mapalad said yesterday.

TFM’s assessment was in reaction to the promise of DAR Region VI Director Elmo Banares that the target is attainable.

Banares claimed that since the 32,000-hectare target was far lower than the original 58,000-hectare goal this year, then it becomes “realistic,” the press release said.

However, statistics do not favor Banares, it said.

From July 2010 to December 2010, the DAR in Negros Occidental only managed to distribute 1,318 hectares but the LAD component suffered a big blow under the Aquino administration since only 479 hectares were distributed from January 2011 to June 2011, the press release said.

Thus, the records show that under the Aquino government, only 1,798 hectares were distributed, it added.

The figure for the current administration pales in comparison to the accomplishment of the Arroyo government, which managed to distribute 62,679 hectares from January 2001 until it bowed out of power in 2010.

Out of the 299,990 hectares of land covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and its successor law, CARP Extension with Reforms, only 164,478 hectares have been distributed in Negros Occidental for an accomplishment rate of 55 percent since 1989, the press release said.

Overall, however, Negros Occidental has the biggest area still to be distributed, an indication of the strong resistance from landowners and the failure of the DAR to achieve its mandate, it added.

The reasons advanced by Banares as to why the LAD in Negros Occidental lagged behind have been there since 1989-- remote barangays, lack of personnel, absence of technical descriptions of areas covered by CARP and CARPER, TFM press release said.*

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