Land reform in Mindanao Philippines
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Materias Investigacion::Ciencias Sociales
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Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
DE VERA MISA, Ramón. “Land reform in Mindanao Philippines”. Alvira, Rafael (dir); Dy, Roland T. y Villegas, Bernardo M. (codir.). Tesis doctoral. Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, 2015
The battle cry of Philippine land reform, dating back to American colonial times, has al¬ways been “land for the landless”. 4,542,968 hectares of land have been distributed to 2,653,254 farmers. But, poverty has only decreased by 2% and poverty incidence among farmers in the country at 44% as of 2006. The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in the Philippines has good intentions but is short on productive policies. The program is riddled with numerous problems and its focus has been on the distribution of land rather than the alleviation of pov¬erty. The Philippines, however, can learn from neighboring countries like Malaysia where land reform programs there have reduced rural poverty incidence from 58.6% in the 1970s to only 11.4% in 2002. Mindanao, with its favorable climatic conditions and vast tracks of land, can be a platform for the revival of Philippine Agriculture. Corporate farms, like the ones found in there, are an example of productive models of Philippine agriculture. In order to put life back into the agricultural industry, the quality of life of farmers must be improved, investments must flow back to agriculture and land reform policies must be rewritten. Philippine land reform must now change its focus from “land to the landless” to one similar in Malaysia: “No one should be poor”. While identifying the many weaknesses of the Philippine Government policies on Land Reform this thesis moved on to propose new goals and measures that would shift the program from just a distribution of land to farmers to provide for fresh policies of government that would allow more resources in investment and loans as well as remove the barriers to growth to revi¬talize agricultural production and alleviate poverty in that industry.

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