THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) South Negros still has a land acquisition and distribution balance of 59,000 hectares, its top official said.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (Parpo) II Lucrecia Taberna said yesterday that of the total land area with notice of coverage (NOC), they are targeting 24,000 hectares from Bago City to Hinobaan town to be distributed this year.

Taberna added that the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) will continue for those land holdings issued with NOC before June 30, 2014.

“We are doing our best to complete the balance despite many challenges by making the beneficiaries fully understand the process of land acquisition and distribution,” Taberna said at the sidelines of the 27th anniversary program of Carp at Bacolod Pavilion Hotel yesterday.

Moreover, Parpo I Ronald Gareza said that DAR has already released P66.8 million in support services this year to 17 agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (Arbos) in southern Negros.

In terms of production loans, Gareza said the government has already extended P309 million in grants to 17,000 ARBs.

“We are reminding the beneficiaries to pay their loans before the Agricultural Credit Policy Council (ACPC) program ends so that we can enroll them in regular lending window of the Land Bank of the Philippines,” Gareza said.

He added that 11 Arbos in Negros Occidental had also received support in the form of eight farm tractors last year. This year, three more tractors will be distributed.

During the program that was preceded by a caravan, the DAR-South distributed 284 certificates of land ownership award to 25 beneficiaries, covering 181 hectares.*