Manila, Philippines - The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) expressed its support to the Filipino farmers’ two-day protest and vigil against charter change (chacha) in front of the House of Representatives starting today until early morning of June 10, 2015. Republic Act 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was enacted on June 10, 1988, while recently, the lower house passed on second reading Resolution of Both Houses No. 1 or opening the 1987 Philippine constitution to charter changes on its economic provisions.
Farmers belonging to Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas and its regional affiliates in Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon have condemned the recent measure of congress and claimed it would lead to intensified land grabbing and dislocation of farmers as it would allow the highly-contentious proposal 100% foreign ownership of land.
We, from RMP, believes that charter change would not benefit Filipino farmers but foreign corporations. It would lead to systematic destruction of productive agricultural lands, depressed quality and socio-economic conditions of marginalized rural sectors. This is an added burden to the already-expired CARP, that served for many decades, as instrument of social injustice as the land-owning class preserved control over vast tracts of land and kept farmers into deep poverty and misery.
RMP advocates in fulfilling the farmers’ aspiration for land to till. We believe that charter change won’t change the centuries-old problem of landlessness. Together, we join hands with the farmers in condemning charter change and continue to call for genuine land reform and social justice.
The RMP is a national organization, inter-congregational and inter-diocesan in character, of women and men religious, priests and lay. We live and work with the peasants (farmers, fisherfolks, indigenous peoples and agricultural workers).