The current minimum land reform program involves the reduction of land rent and abolition of usury, and the setting up of mutual aid and labor exchange systems among the peasantry. In this connection, the wages of farm workers and the prices of agricultural products at the farm gate have also been improved.
For the past 20 years, the revolutionary movement has carried out this minimum program in ever-widening areas in the countryside. Even at this stage, far-reaching economic, political and social changes are being effected, including a substantial improvement in the livelihood of the peasantry.The growth of the revolution has also made it possible in certain areas for land to be confiscated from despotic landlords and landgrabbers and redistributed to peasants, for unjust debts to be condoned, for some peasant cooperatives to be organized, and for appropriate technologies to be introduced.
After nationwide victory of the revolution, it shall be possible to carry out the maximum land reform program, which involves the confiscation of landlord property and the equitable distribution of the land to the landless tillers at no cost to them. Comprehensive agrarian reform shall be completed under the people’s democratic republic for all arable land, aquaculture, livestock and grazing lands with due consideration to ancestral lands of the Bangsa Moro and indigenous peoples.
Beneficiaries of land reform and other owner-cultivators shall be given support services and incentives to increase production and incomes in agriculture and side occupations. Agricultural cooperation shall be vigorously promoted and shall run ahead of mechanization. The process of cooperativization and mechanization shall be accomplished in stages and in connection with the development of industry. Rich peasants shall be allowed to retain their land. They will, however, have to rely on their own labor power rather than on hired labor.
Landlords who do not oppose land reform and cooperate with the people’s democratic government shall be given adequate means of livelihood so their families can have a decent life.
Modern plantations owned and controlled by transnationals or their business allies among the big comprador landlords shall be taken over by the state. These capital-intensive and large-scale farms shall be run by the state or cooperatives of agricultural workers. Capitalist farm-owners who have supported the revolution shall be allowed to work with the state to raise agricultural production and modernize agriculture. However, farm workers in these enterprises shall form unions, participate in management and be assured of improved working and living conditions and a just share in the surplus generated.
Major refining, processing and marketing of agricultural products shall be undertaken by the state enterprises and agricultural cooperatives in accordance with the type of crop, its relative importance to the national economy and the people’s livelihood, other factors specific to the product, and capabilities of the sector concerned. While local processing and marketing of a wide variety of agricultural products by individual households shall be encouraged, no enterprise shall be allowed to exploit the peasants and farm workers, engage in hoarding, or impose monopolistic prices. Production of farm equipment and tools, seed varieties, fertilizers, pesticides, and other agricultural inputs, and consumer products suited to local conditions shall be promoted. Industry shall be required to serve the producer and consumer needs of the working people, mainly the peasant masses.
Support services such as technical assistance, irrigation and distribution of water resources, credit, marketing and storage facilities shall be provided. The state shall rely on the cooperation of the peasant organizations and cooperatives. Livestock production, fishing and aquaculture shall be developed and their producers, especially the small ones, shall be encouraged to form cooperatives or associations and given state assistance.
The depletion, pollution and destruction of marine resources, especially by transnational firms and foreign fishing fleets shall be stopped. These resources shall be protected, rehabilitated and developed to benefit Filipino fisherfolk in particular and the people in general.
Programs to raise productivity and improve agricultural management and technology shall be instituted. These include research on and development of appropriate agricultural technologies and crop diversification.
Ecologically sound farming practices shall be promoted to ensure that agricultural production will be sustainable.
Agricultural development programs and appropriate technologies to be adopted shall give due recognition to conditions of rural women and shall enhance their capabilities in agricultural production as well as lessen the burden of household work.
Agriculture shall become the base of the economy, providing food and other necessities to the people as well as raw materials for industry.
With increased incomes from agricultural and non-agricultural activities, rural communities will provide an expanding market for goods produced by domestic industry. The state plan for rural industrialization shall utilize the expansion of rural markets and agricultural modernization to increase manufacturing activities in the rural areas and create greater employment opportunities there.