Agrarian Reform Cooperatives: Trials and Triumphs in the Struggle for Sustainability

Xenia Ruiz


The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program remains a promise unfulfilled to many who have toiled the fields for generations despite efforts of past and present administrations. For two cooperatives in Basilan, the gift of land was both a blessing and a curse. The Certificate of Land Ownership and Acquisition (CLOA) was not the end of their problems but quite the opposite. After enduring poverty and red tape the new land owners were faced with the enormous task of managing thousands of hectares of agricultural land without prior experience. Lacking financial stability and managerial expertise, the cooperatives appeared better off without the fruits of their struggle. Eventually they realized their weaknesses and found their strengths. Through favorable financing programs from government institutions and joint ventures with other organizations, the once vulnerable upstarts have grown into profitable, self-sustaining units. Now the cooperatives are development catalysts in their respective communities and a stable force in the thriving agricultural sector.


Agrarian Reform Cooperatives, CARP, CLOA

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