Negros farmers receive small grants to push for their land rights claims

TALISAY City – Four farmer organizations were awarded community subgrants from land and human rights organization Kaisahan Tungo sa Kaunlaran ng Kanayunan at Repormang Pansakahan (KAISAHAN) in celebration of International Human Rights Day, Friday, Dec. 10, 2021 at Talisay City, Negros Occidental.

The subgrants were conferred to farmer organizations facing ongoing legal battles in claiming land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The recipients of the subgrant applied to support their capacity-building activities as defenders of land and human rights, security for their homes and property, and pursue their advocacy and claim-making activities as CARP beneficiaries.

The recipient organizations include Ilco Agrarian Reform Farmers and Fisherfolks Association (ILARFFA) based in Hinoba-an, Hacienda Biellebail Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization assisted by Task Force Mapalad, Felicidad Begonia Farm Workers Association (FeBeFWA) based in Manapla, and Hacienda Vicenta Farmworkers Association (HVFWA) based in the city of La Castellana.

The subgrants range from 55,000 pesos up to 110, 000 pesos based on the proposals of the individual organizations.

“Ini mangin dako gid nga bulig para sa amon sa pag atubang sang naga padayun nga kaso kag sa iban pagid nga hilikuton sa (pag)amlig sg amon tawhanon nga kinamatarong sa pakigbato sg mga ARBs sang  ILARFFA,” Jophet Caballero, Public Information Officer of ILARFFA said.

(This will be a huge help for us as we face our existing case and as we implement other activities to protect our human rights and the continued fight of agrarian reform beneficiaries of ILARFFA, Jophet Caballero, Public Information Officer of ILARFFA said.)

Similarly, KAISAHAN, through its project Dagyaw Negros para sa Duta, also has an available protection fund for individuals facing threats, harassment, and risks because of their work in protecting and promoting land and human rights in agrarian reform communities.

The subgrant and the protection fund are only two components of KAISAHAN’s Dagyaw Negros project. This is financially supported by the European Union Delegation in the Philippines through its European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights amounting to more than 13 million pesos.

KAISAHAN is a non-government organization working on facilitating agrarian reform implementation and sustainable rural development since 1990.

KAISAHAN has been working in Negros Occidental for almost a decade and has assisted numerous agrarian reform beneficiaries process their claims to land, access government’s support services, and cultivate their land peacefully.