Bishops seek special session for passage of Carp extension bill


THE Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Thursday appealed to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to call for a special session in Congress for lawmakers to pass the bill seeking to extend the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP-National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa), said ordering the majority bloc in the House of Representatives to hold a special session will prove that Arroyo is sincere in her efforts to extend the law.

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“We are appealing to the President to call for a special session in Congress for the passage of the Carp extension bill,” he said.

On Tuesday, the Chief Executive certified as urgent the bill seeking to extend Carp.

For her part, Akbayan party-list Representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel said it will be easy for the President to call for a special session as she already did the same in the passage of the national budget.

Pabillo is saddened by the delays in deliberating the bill as Congress has yet to reach the discussions on the merits of the proposed law.

“We think it is both delaying tactic and lack of interest of lawmakers,” he lamented.

He said the non-passage of the law could lead to the stalling of contested land disputes being tackled by civilian courts.

There are almost 1.8 million hectares out of the nine million hectares of Carp-able land that remains undistributed.

The Carp is set to expire on June 10 while Congress will go on recess on June 13. (FP/Sunnex)

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