THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-South, through its Agrarian Legal Services (ALS), is currently conducting an orientation program and skills development training to its 54 newly-hired and appointed personnel.

ALS chief Rolando Lava, in a statement, said the new member orientation has been the tradition of the agency's division that allows the newly-hired and appointed personnel to learn more about the program of the DAR as they are starting to serve the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

Lava said they divided the personnel into five batches due to the prevailing pandemic as well as to ensure their safety.

The activity for the first two batches were conducted on October 29 to 30 and November 10 to 11, respectively, at the Northwest Inn in Bacolod City.

The third batch completed the two-day training Friday, November 13.

Meanwhile, the remaining two batches will be conducted on November 17 and 18 and November 19 and 20 in the same venue.

"We wanted to equip our participants of basic knowledge on various agrarian laws and to train them of different skills on alternative dispute resolutions such as mediation, which they can use in their job as Agrarian Reform Program Technologists," he added.

For his part, Officer-In-Charge Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Arnulfo Figueroa said he expects that the new entrants will actively perform major roles that are vital for the attainment of the agency's vision to help the ARBs improve their quality of life towards rural development and national industrialization.

"Aside from the existing mandates of the agency through its major final outputs, we are now prioritizing the implementation of our new special project known as the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (Split) which is a World Bank funded project," Figueroa explained.

He emphasized that the Split Project involves subdivision of about P1.38 million hectares of collective land titles into individual land titles nationwide.

Bulk of these landholdings come from Negros Occidental.

Thus, the appointment of additional workforce is very timely since we need additional hands and minds to expedite the project implementation, the official also said.