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President Benigno Aquino III is currently meeting with farmer-members of Task Force Mapalad to discuss a package of "doables" to hasten the distribution of land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
"Our government has always recognized the vitality of rural enterprises toward achieving food security and equitable economic growth," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Thursday.
"This opportunity for farmers to personally meet the President is a reaffirmation of our government’s unwavering commitment for agrarian reform and vigorous support for the development of our countryside," Valte added.
Cabinet officials met with farmer leaders and Mania Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo last week while the President was out of the country.
After the meeting, both sides agreed to a list of five to six doables which will be submitted to the President, including the creation of a team that would monitor the implementation of CARP.
Catholic bishops and farmers have been calling on the Aquino administration for CARP completion before the program ends in 2014.
Earlier, presidential spokesman Lacierda took exception to Pabillo’s statement that the Aquino administration had the "lowest CARP accomplishment when compared to all CARP administrations."
Lacierda disputed this, citing figures of the total hectares of land distributed over the years.
He said 111,889 hectares of land were distributed in 2011, which is higher than the 59,495 hectares in 2009, which Lacierda said was the lowest.
Lacierda said P2 billion has also been allocated for support services to agrarian reform communities, in particular the Agrarian Reform Community, Connectivity and Economic Support Services program of the Department of Agrarian Reform. InterAksyon.com