Most of the members of the Davao Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative (DAMARB MPC) intend to continue with its lease contract with export banana plantation company Marsman Estate Plantation Inc. DAMARB MPC Chairman Hernando Rivero said the members of their organization recognize the importance of having a lease contract with a stable company, certainly in these uncertain times.
The DAMARB MPC issued this statement due to recent developments concerning Presidential Agrarian Reform Council’s (PARC) Resolution No. 2016-30-05. This resolution supposedly led to the revocation of the lease agreement of MEPI and DAMARBDEVCO, which is now DAMARB MPC.
Rivero explained that the other 164 ARBs who chose not to lease their lands to Marsman Estate Plantation Inc, like the members of Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (MARBCO) and later Marsman Individual Farming Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (MIFARBCO), opted to acquire the land through the Voluntary Offer to Sell (VOS) scheme of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and to become independent growers.
Rivero emphasized that “we prefer to stick it out with MEPI, and we hope the government will not revoke our agreements with MEPI. Otherwise, the government will impoverish us instead of empowering us all the more during this time of the pandemic.”