Press Release
March 1, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas today pushed for the creation of a comprehensive database on agrarian reform as a parallel effort to extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which expires this year.

Speaking before a Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) caucus on agrarian reform on Wednesday, Roxas stressed that proponents of CARP's extension must show a way forward that would result to better incomes and poductivity in the countryside.

"There must be an established and agreed upon database that would contain all the pertinent data on agrarian reform. How many lands have been and yet to be covered, how many agrarian reform beneficiaries are there and how their lives have changed due to CARP, how many families have yet to benefit, how much funding is available, among other intricate details," he said.

"This way, we will be able to determine what are the real needs of our farmers, if there's a need to spend more money on CARP, and how to spend it to have meaningful impact to the lives of families in the countryside," he said.

Roxas said the process of extending CARP is much more complex than just passing one consolidated bill extending the same CARP law. Other factors, such as access to financing and farm inputs, government support programs to build competencies in support of land and farm inputs distribution, among others, have to be thought-out carefully as well.

"Through CARP extension together with reforms, there can be a convergence of resources, full support services and packages on top of land distribution. Our goal is not simply to extend carp but to ensure that this program will result to better incomes and better lives for farmer-beneficiaries," he said.

"We should not extend CARP only for the sake of extending it. There must also be genuine reforms, else, it will be just more of the same, we will just be repeating the mistakes of the past," he stressed.

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