The Rural Sector and the Ramos Administration

  • Cecilia Luz Ochoa


To the faithful, the Ramos administration will be remembered for the president’s work ethic, leadership style or perhaps his “summit approach” to improve the Philippine economy, or at least the international community’s perception thereof. The rural sector will most likely remember President Ramos for his failure to represent the interest of the sector. In the years Ramos held office, the implementation of the agrarian reform program stopped just outside his office. Efforts to draft a much needed National Land Use Code ended with dormant versions in both Senate and House of Representatives. Real estate developers came away with the better deals. Farmers went home with insufficient funding for rural infrastructure and support services. The liberalization of agriculture ensured their dependence on so-called safety nets that could not significantly resuscitate the sector. Six years of dipping productivity, declining incomes, dwindling farmlands and pervasive poverty will be hard to forget.