THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to 50 new agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Cebu during a summit yesterday.
DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano, together with Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer (PARO) Elvira Bation, DAR 7 Director Alejandro Otacan, Regional Agrarian Reform adjudicator Rosario T. Kintanar, Assistant Regional Director Josephus Baterna and seven municipal agrarian reform officers, led the distribution to the 50 out of the 183 new ARBs from the towns of Minglanilla, Borbon, Barili, Tuburan and in Barangay Adlawon, Cebu City.
The previous landowners of the lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program were Genoviva Villalon in Cadulawan, Minglanilla; Margarita Laranaga in Borbon; Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) in Barili; Cabahug Industrial Corp. in Tuburan; and Lapu-Lapu Rural Bank Inc. in Adlawon, Cebu City.
During the ARBs summit held at the Crown Regency Hotel yesterday, Mariano said that the overall framework and policy direction of his agency is to protect and assert the rights of farmer-beneficiaries.
He said there’s a need to protect the security of tenure of ARBs.
Mariano urged the new ARBs to develop their lands to ensure food for their families and help the country in increasing productivity.
Mariano said he saw the need to promote the farmers’ rights and welfare, and ensure food security in the country.
Mariano was informed that ARBs in the sugar cane plantations in Bogo City and Medellin town in northern Cebu returned their lands to the original owners–the sugar producers.
The ARBs who were issued CLOAs for the sugar plantations have gone back to serve as workers, receiving salaries plus minimal rental from their own lands.
The sugar producers in northern Cebu were already paid by the Land Bank of the Philippines for the value of their lands and the ARBs now have the obligation to pay amortization of the lands to the bank for 30 years.
Earlier, Bation said during the Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency) that they heard reports about it, which they are now verifying.
Mariano, in a press conference, said that while ARBs are allowed to enter into a joint venture with a corporation to develop their lands, any contract or agreement is subject to review and approval by DAR.
In her situationer report on CARP in Cebu, Bation said that of the 4,632,359 population in Cebu Province based on the 2015 survey, there are 339,000 who are farmers or seven percent of the total population in the province.
Bation said that of the land area of 508,339 hectares, 254,034 hectares are agricultural and only 36,060 hectares are under CARP.
Of the 36,060 hectares under CARP, they accomplished 35,118 hectares with 34,273 ARBs who now own lands.