TAGBILARAN CITY, (PNA) -– The National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the provincial government of Bohol and other national agencies joined forces to address the pressing concerns on land disputes, livelihood and human rights of the rural poor and the lowly farmers tilling the land they don’t own.
NAPC’s initiative got a positive response from the provincial government here by holding a inter-agency dialogue between the farmer-beneficiaries and the agencies concerned particularly the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bohol held here at a restaurant with Assistant Sec. Gina dela Cruz and Gov. Edgar Chatto mediating.
The said inter-agency, also was a concrete response of NAPC to the call of farmers and women’s group called KASAMAKA in Bohol by holding dialogue to thresh out kinks on said problems, Lady Gunayan, president of the federation said.
The dialogue also serves as venue in discussing as what NAPC called the “heart” of the issues facing the KASAMAKA while at same time hear the updates of the cases and their resolutions handled by different national agencies.
In his short message, Gov. Chatto pointed out that thru dialogue and consultation with the sector affected and the offices or national agencies concerned could put their acts together towards one direction. And working together will also put things in perspective. For this, the governor expressed gratitude to NAPC for initiating the dialogue for which the province fully assisted.
While expressing her gratitude to the provincial government for the help it extended, Dela Cruz said the agency will help the farmers in engaging with the government. Expresiing optimism, she said “we’ll resolve their cases” but admitted this will take sometime.
After the dialogue, she said, they’ll report to the human cluster of the commission. She suggested to the governor to form such body or technical working group to focus on these concerns, which the governor potitively nodded. The governor said this may be included in the workings of the Provincial Peace and Order Council he chairs, which meets once every month.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (Paro) Grace Fua of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) also urged the farmers group to raise “specifics” rather than making a “sweeping” if not generalization of their predicament. Along with PARO were her legal department led by Atty. Prince Lim.
Those who took part in the dialogue include Atty. Godfrey Tubo of Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), who assisted the farmers; representatives of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR); Mario Aragon, Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) of Tagbilaran; Liza Qirog, head of the Social Economic Environment Management (SEEM) cluster of the governor’s office; provincial legal officer Atty. Boloy Boiser and others.