Land reform pertains to integrated set of measures designed to eliminate obstacles to economic and social development arising from defects in the agrarian structure. One of the existing agrarian reform laws in the country is Republic Act No. 6675, otherwise known as the “The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law”. The main topics that had been discussed are about Land Tenure Improvement, Program Beneficiaries Development and lastly, the Agrarian Justice Delivery.
The first main point is about Land Tenure Improvement it stated that their component seeks to secure the tenurial status of the farmers and farm workers in the lands they till. This is operationalized either through land acquisition and distribution (LAD) and leasehold operations. LAD involves the redistribution of government and private agricultural lands to landless farmers and farm workers. This is the essence of land reform. It secures farmers’ tenure, promotes social equity, and provides them with necessary productive resources needed to ensure their economic viability and productivity.
A leasehold operation, on the other hand, is the alternative non-land transfer scheme. It covers all tenanted agricultural lands such those in the retained areas, not yet acquired for distribution under CARP, and those which may be validly covered under existing laws. With the enactment of RA 9700 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms in 2009, LAD should be completed by June 30, 2014 on a province-by-province basis. Second is about Program Beneficiaries Development. This point states that it support services component of CARP.
It aims to capacitate ARBs and provide them access to the necessary support services to make their lands more productive, enable them to venture in income generating livelihood projects and actively participate in community governance. Agrarian reform does not rely on land distribution alone, but also on the delivery of support services, including farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation, post harvest facilities, rural electrification, potable water supply, school buildings, multi-purpose buildings; extension services, credit assistance, and trainings. Lastly is about Agrarian Justice Delivery.
It stated that it has two features. First, the agrarian legal assistance and adjudication of cases. Agrarian legal assistance is comprised of resolution of agrarian law implementation (ALI) cases, ARB representation before judicial and quasi-judicial bodies, and mediation and conciliation. On the other hand, Adjudication of cases involves the resolution of cases by the DAR Adjudication Board (DARAB) and any of its salas. Under RA 6657, the DAR is vested with the primary jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate agrarian reform matters and to extend free legal assistance to farmer-beneficiaries affected by agrarian cases.