Liberating Farmers from Tenancy Bondage: The Land and Agrarian Reform Programs of Ramon Magsaysay (1954-1957)
The past economic colonial policies in the Philippines created severe issues for land tenancy and distribution patterns. When Magsaysay won the presidency in 1953, his administration carried the banner of land and agrarian reform as its core policy. The paper investigated how Magsaysay Administration’s agrarian reform policies addressed the needs of the peasants. Further, the study presents the land and agrarian reform programs enacted by the Magsaysay Administration, from conceptualization to implementation, their results, and efficacy in easing the tenancy problem of farmers. Using the historical method, the study showed that Magsaysay's land and agrarian reform program provided security of tenure to the farmers. It enabled them to become more independent, self-reliant, and responsible citizens. Ultimately, the program succeeded in protecting the farmers from the uncertainty and threat of land deprivation and, in effect, curtailed insurgency. Magsaysay's program also proved influential to succeeding administrations in the design and construction of their land and agrarian reform laws.