Campaigning for Agrarian Reform in the Bondoc Peninsula

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The case study focuses on the organizing efforts of two national agrarian reform networks, the Rural Poor Institute for Land and Human Rights Services (known as RIGHTS Network) and the Movement for Agrarian Reform and Social Justice (Katarungan), and their campaign with local farmers’ organizations on the Bondoc Peninsula.

Bondoc Peninsula is a narrow strip of land located in the southern portion of Quezon province, approximately eight hours away from Manila. It is composed of twelve low-income municipalities. Largely dependent on the production of coconut, Bondoc Peninsula has a skewed system of land tenure under which ownership of large tracts is concentrated in the hands of a few elite families. The story of the agrarian reform campaign in the Bondoc Peninsula concerns the role of CSOs in enabling poor farmers to gain control of land. The campaign utilized various actions at different levels that enabled the rural poor to gain control of land. Such actions can be broadly categorized as constituency-building and interfacing with the state.

This case study summary is one of seven that reflect on civil society monitoring and advocacy initiatives in the Philippines – all of which aim to improve government accountability in different sectors – through the lens of vertical integration.