Press Release
July 29, 2022


Senator Chiz Escudero is pushing for the inclusion of cooperatives with excellent track record in the list of recipients of some 52,000 hectares of unused public agricultural lands that the Marcos administration intends to distribute in accordance with the Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 as amended.

While Escudero backed the planned public land grant following the announcement of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to assign these vast tracks of untilled farmlands to "veterans, their surviving relatives, retirees of the AFP and PNP, and agricultural degree holders who are all landless," he said there is still room to expand the list of beneficiaries.

"I believe there is room for people who have made a living in tilling the land," Escudero said.

"If we are going to mobilize farmers to ramp up food production, then let us begin with those who have the expertise. In our war against hunger and poverty, let us tap those with experience and proven track records," the senator said.

The three-term legislator went on to say that the government can even turn the untilled lands to be developed by these outstanding farmer cooperatives as "demonstration farms that will showcase best practices in growing food."

"Kapag ginawa ng gobyerno 'yun, parang may extension work at technical assistance na hindi gagastos ang pamahalaan. The set up can be viewed as intra-communal transfer of know-how, of farmers mentoring their own kind," he said.

Escudero stressed that land grants should go beyond being a "social justice program" to a food security initiative and suggested that the beneficiaries will use the soon-to-be-distributed agricultural lands for farming.

"Bakit ba tayo mamimigay ng lupa? Ito ay upang taniman at makadagdag sa food supply. Actually, ang isang conditionality dapat ng grant na iyan ay sakahin iyon upang makapag-produce ng pagkain," he said.

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