THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental-South has awarded land titles to 152 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Bago City on Thursday, December 10.

The ARBs received their certificates of land ownership awards (Cloas) covering an aggregate of 102 hectares involving various landholdings located in Barangay Ma-ao.

Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Josefina Rodrigo said 66 of these farmer-beneficiaries received their owner's duplicate copy of titles, while the remaining 52 received their original land titles.

"We at the Department of Agrarian Reform are very happy that despite the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, we were able to deliver new hopes to the lives of our ARBs," she said, adding that "these, for sure, are best Christmas gifts that they could ever have through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp)."

Present during the distribution rite was DAR Judicial Form Account Officer Ari Arceo, who reminded the farmer-beneficiaries to treasure the lands by becoming responsible and accountable Carp-recipients.

Meanwhile, 34 ARBs also received their land titles from DAR-Negros Occidental II on Wednesday, December 9.

Senior Agrarian Reform Program Technologist Arren Mondejar said 14 of these new landowners are from Barangay Binubuhan.

They will share the 16.2172 hectares of the landholding, while another 14 farmers will divide the 22.1054 hectares of the landholding located in Barangay Antipuluhan.

The six other ARBs will divide the 4, 726 square meters of the landholding formerly owned by Newsal Enterprises Inc.

For his part, Senior Agrarian Reform Program Technologist Marvin Rubio appealed to the farmer-beneficiaries to help the agency in its fight against the rampant "ariendohanay" or leasing of Carp-awarded lands in Negros Occidental which is strictly prohibited under the law.

"I am appealing that you must value these blessings and refrain from engaging from any illegal activities because the only way to reach the pedestal of success is through hardwork, and that is by making your lands productive," Rubio said.