PAKISAMA president Ireneo Cerilla received a plaque of recognition as one of nine finalists for the First International Land Coalition (ILC) Award during the ILC Global Land Forum and Assembly of Members in Dakar, Senegal last May 12-16. The recognition was given for PAKISAMA’s entry entitled “Twenty years of non-violent protest to benefit from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program” which falls under ILC’s commitment to “Strong Small-Scale Farming Systems.”
ILC is commited to “Ensure equitable land distribution and public investment that supports small-scale farming systems, including through redistributive agrarian reforms that counter excessive land concentration, provide for secure and equitable use and control of land, and allocate appropriate land to landless rural producers and urban residents, whilst supporting smallholders as investors and producers, such as through cooperative and partnership business models.”
An abstract of PAKISAMA’s case study reads: “In 1988, the Philippines embarked on a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). A group of 137 indigenous Higaonon farmers applied through the CARP for access to 144 hectares of ancestral land from which they had been evicted 50 years earlier. When the government first awarded and then withdrew their land titles, the farmers waged a 13-year campaign of non-violent protest that included land occupation, camp-outs in front of the Supreme Court, hunger strikes, a 1700 km march, along with continuous dialogue with the private owners of their land. In 2010 they obtained the titles and a 2 million peso loan.”
The First ILC Award was launched to celebrate and give global visibility to the work of ILC members on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. Finalists were members who have contributed in an outstanding manner to make land governance more people-centred, and as a result secure the land rights of women and men living in conditions of poverty. The main award went to the Uganda Land Alliance, for their outstanding contribution towards ILC’s 9th commitment “effective actions against land grabbing.”
PAKISAMA is an AFA member in the Philippines.