In the News (Phils): Rationalize DAR to boost effective agrarian-reform program, says UP prof

CLOSING unnecessary offices and laying off personnel at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) may not only save the government money, but also save farmers, a professor of the University of the Philippines said.

Maria Dolores Bernabe of the UP College of Social Work and Community Development cited such move be undertaken by the incoming administration replacing that of President Arroyo’s by June.

“There’s a need to rationalize the DAR. The government can save money by phasing out offices and personnel, or relocating them to other posts, where no longer necessary,” Bernabe said at a recent public forum on property reform and related issues at the UP Diliman, Quezon City campus.

The forum, according to UP, aims to identify issues that the public may understand before voting in May for their leaders.

Bernabe’s recommendation, one of five she forwarded as the next administration’s best way to implement agrarian-reform, is based on her analysis that “implementing a comprehensive agrarian reform program is essential if agriculture is to survive in this globalizing world.”

Citing data from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Bernabe said Filipino families included as agrarian-reform beneficiaries (ARBs) posted higher income (23 percent) than those excluded from the agrarian-reform program.

Read the full story at Business Mirror

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