Peasants, advocates launch International Solidarity Mission in Hacienda Looc, Philippines

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The Asian Peasant Coalition (APC), Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), KASAMA-TK (Peasants’Peasants, advocates launch International Solidarity Mission in Hacienda Looc, PhilippinesAlliance in Southern Tagalog), and SAMBAT (Peasant Alliance in Batangas)  will be conducting an “International Solidarity Mission: Save Hacienda Looc and People’s Livelihood” at Nasugbu, Batangas in the Philippines from February 11 to 17, 2012. APC is a member of the  People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty.

 

Hacienda Looc is composed of four villages of Calayo, Bulihan, Papaya and Looc, with an area of 8,650 hectares and  is endowed with rich natural resources more than enough to provide its populace of more or less 10,000 farmers and fisherfolk. At present, the entire Hacienda Looc is being converted into a golf project called Royal Cliff, Harbor Town Golf and Country Club which is owned by three of the biggest real estate companies in the Philippines – Fil-Estate Lands (FEPI), Manila South Coast Development Corporation (MSDC) and SM Land Inc.

On December 26, 1996, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional Director for Region IV issued an Order granting the Petition for Exclusion filed by Fil-Estate pursuant to Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 10, Series of 1994. As a result, the subject 10  parcels of land with an aggregate area of 1,219.0133 hectares were exempted from Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) coverage.

The SAMBAT (Farmers Alliance in Batangas), KASAMA-TK (Farmers Alliance in Southern Tagalog) and the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) have considered the decision as a watermark for the DAR’s policy direction and approach in defending the land rights of farmers vis-à-vis other government projects and programs.

The people are losing their land, the very source of their life. The project outrightly denies the rights of farmers over the lands and shall drastically alter the beautiful landscape of Hacienda Looc. In it shall built four golf courses, two yacht anchorage, exclusive beach resort and agropolitan subdivision all for the use of a privileged few. According to the video gallery of the Hamilo Coast, the SM Land Inc.  will convert 5,800 hectares at Bgy. Papaya.  Even if the case against the MSDC and FEPI is pending at the Supreme Court, the people of Hacienda Looc are up against the Philippines' “richest man" -- Henry Sy and also President Aquino’s crony.

The environment is wantonly destroyed – the vast agricultural land is bulldozed, the virginal forest flattened, the swamps and mangroves ruined. The problem erupted when the government sold the whole Hacienda, including the 5,218 hectares it has already awarded the farmers under its own agrarian reform program. Part of its grand design to transform the country into a haven for foreign investors, the government is in full support of the Harbor Town Project. They call it development. Peasant groups call it disaster.

The ISM aims to help the people of Hacienda Looc protect their rights to land and livelihood, promote genuine agrarian reform and defend the environment against the impacts of the tourism project.

For more information kindly contact:

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APC Secretariat
Rm. 2, 2nd Floor
25-B Matiyaga Street, Bgy. Central
Quezon City, Philippines
Phone: +632-3793083
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Skype: apc.secretariat
Web: www.asianpeasant.org