FFE Magazine

Philippine Department of Agrarian Reform to help CARP beneficiaries in their Legal needs

 

MANILA, Philippines–Farmers covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and their organizations need not hire private lawyers for legal services related to their farm enterprises, the Department of Agrarian Reform said on Thursday.

The DAR said it recently trained in-house legal and support service teams to undertake “enterprise lawyering” for the CARP beneficiaries.

“These teams can assist the beneficiaries and their organizations in securing production credit, ensuring the legal requirements for market agreements, acquiring better understanding of agri-insurance contracts and other legal requirements for starting and maintaining an enterprise,” the agency said.

In a statement, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio De Los Reyes said that where before, this task was shouldered by the support services staff of the DAR, this is now shared by the legal officers of the department in order to tie in the legal documents required for securing support services.

“This is a form of legal assistance directed at strengthening the ARB (agrarian reform beneficiaries) organizations and making them entrepreneurially-viable and therefore, more bankable,” he said.

The pilot project of providing enterprise legal assistance to CARP beneficiaries was undertaken with the assistance of the Securities and Exchange Commission on registration of CARP corporations (for profit or non-profit organizations), the Cooperative Development Authority for the registration, re-registration, and training of ARB cooperatives, the Bureau of Internal Revenue for the tax exemptions of ARB associations and cooperatives as well as the requirements on tax compliance, the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation for the orientation on DAR-PCIC agri-insurance program.

Certain CARP beneficiary organizations and social entrepreneurs also shared their expertise and experiences on financial management to help the legal teams gain a better understanding of the needs of CARP beneficiaries, the DAR said.

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