Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael V. Mariano distributed a total of 887 hectares of land to 455 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Northern Mindanao when he visited DAR regional office in Cagayan de Oro this month.
The Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) was given to 330 ARBs in Bukidnon with 700 hectares including towns of Maramag, Pangantucan, Talakag and Lantapan. Meanwhile, in Lanao Norte, a total of 187 hectares were distributed to 155 ARBs in Kolambugan town.
Aside from CLOA distribution, Secretary Mariano’s visit was aimed to foster participation and dialogue between farmers and DAR region 10 employees.
He announced policy directions and thrusts of the department where the goal is real agrarian reform. This includes distribution of lands to farmers. He cited the importance of protecting the farmers and ensuring their security of tenure and promoting their rights and welfare.
We must also contribute to rural development, he said. We must attain food security through strengthening DAR community.
Right now, DAR is fast racking inventory of lands distributed to farmers to make sure these lands are still under the name of owners and have not illegally sold them.
Mariano said that according to the statistics of Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), there are a total of 906,000 farmer beneficiaries who should be paying for the land amortization and 6% interest per annum. However, based on records, a total of 120,000 ARBs are not able to pay for the amortization and interest. Meanwhile, only 25% have fully paid.
Based on the law under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, ARBs should pay land amortization and interest rate per annum, he said.
That is why they are fast tracking validation and monitoring. There had already been 4.7 million hectares of land distributed to 2.7 million ARBs nationwide.
One more reason to conduct the inventory said the Secretary is to monitor those given conversion orders granted by DAR to check whether development plan has been implemented for five years, otherwise, it can be basis for revocation or recall of the conversion order.
He said, if it needs to be re-classified to agricultural land, program on food production would be more strengthened. (JMOR/PIA10)