Palace hails passage by House of bill extending CARP for another five years

June 4, 2009 1:53 pm 

MANILA, June 4 — Malacanang welcomed today the passage by the House of Representatives of the bill extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) for another five years.

Deputy Presidential Spokesman Anthony Golez Jr. in a radio interview this morning, said the passage of the CARP bill would finally give justice to the nation's farmers.

"The farmers will finally get justice,” Golez said.

CARP, the land redistribution scheme mandated by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988, or RA 6657, expired in December 2008.

Last December, Congress adopted a joint resolution extending the CARP for six more months, or until June 2009, to allow the Department of Agrarian Reform to continue its mandated tasks pending the enactment of a new law to extend the operation of the program.

Last month, the President certified as urgent the CARP extension bill.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday night (June 3, 2009) approved on third and final reading the CARP extension bill.

The new law also allocates a P100-billion outlay for land acquisition and distribution, support services, agrarian justice delivery, and other funding requirements during the extension period.

The bill likewise covers all public and private agricultural lands as provided in Proclamation 131 and Executive Order No. 229, including other lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture.

The measure stipulates that prioritization of coverage “is not necessary” and that after June 30, 2009, the modes of acquisition will be limited to voluntary offer to sell and compulsory acquisition.

The bill provides for the creation of a joint congressional oversight committee to be composed of three members each from the Senate and the House.

The Senate passed last Monday its own version of the bill. The final version of the consolidated bill will be enacted when Congress resumes session last week of July. (PNA)

LAP/OPS/ssc

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