Lawmakers, peasant leaders refile Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill

Published July 5, 2022, 4:30 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Aiming to address the “root” of social strife due to landlessness and poverty, Makabayan representatives, together with peasant and fisherfolk leaders refiled the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill (GARB) in the 19th Congress.

Makabayan representatives along with peasant and fisherfolk leaders refiled the Genuine Agrarian Reform Bill in Congress. (Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas / Manila Bulletin)

Makabayan representatives Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Raoul Manuel, together with former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary Rafael Mariano, farmers, and fisherfolk leaders on Tuesday, July 5 refiled GARB, also known as the Free Land Distribution Act of 2022.

“This bill answers the demand of Filipino farmers for free land distribution and social justice. We need a genuine agrarian reform program that will implement free land distribution to farmers and provide support services to farmers especially at this time of severe economic crisis,” said peasant leader Rafael Mariano in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), on Tuesday, likewise claimed that GARB will “correct” the defects of Presidential Decree No. 27 (PD 27) signed on Oct. 21, 1972, decreeing the emancipation of tenant from the bondage of the soil, transferring to them the ownership of the land they till.

KMP, in the same statement, said that PD 27 only covered tenanted rice and corn lands, exempting vast agricultural lands from government land reform.

The peasant group also slammed the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), claiming that it paved the way for non-land transfer schemes of corporate venture agreements that halted the actual distribution of land to farmer beneficiaries.