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DAR secretary is GRP consultant on CASER in 5th round of talks

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Tagum City– Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano will participate in the fifth round of peace talks between government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front (NDF) that will tackle, among others, the agrarian reform and rural development aspect of the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms (CASER) on May 26 to June 2, 2017 in Noorwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.

Mariano will sit as GRP panel’s consultant on CASER.

The DAR chief said that he joined the meetings that were held between the bilateral teams of GRP and NDFP to work on the contentious provisions on social economic reforms.

The bilateral teams are composed of three members from each side and supervised by RWCs-SER members “to work on the sections on the agrarian reform and rural development (ARRD) and National Industrialization and Economic Development (NIED).”

During the fourth round, the reciprocal working committees (RWCs) on CASER of GRP and NDFP exchanged their respective comparative “color-coded matrices” identifying both contentious and acceptable provisions of the CASER drafts submitted by both parties.

These contentious provisions were then clustered into nine major topics: Coverage, confiscation, compensation, lease/leaseback and plantations, international agreements/domestic law, political power/implementation mechanisms, land use, private insurance, and terminologies.

Mariano said the results of the meetings of the bilateral teams will be presented in the next round of talks.

He said both parties agreed that the free land distribution will be the “basic principle” of the agrarian reform, one of the components of the CASER.

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