Over 2,800 hectares of land given to 2,400 beneficiaries in Central Visayas

Over 2,800 hectares of land given to 2,400 beneficiaries in Central Visayas
Contributed photo

OVER 2,800 hectares of agricultural lands were distributed to 2,426 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Monday, May 20, 2024.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his speech, said the distribution is the government’s proof to fulfill its promise to complete the agrarian reform program in the country. He led the government officials in turning over the certificates of land ownership award (Cloas) at the Lamberto Macias Sports and Cultural Complex.

The ARBs from Cebu, Bohol, and Negros Oriental received 3,855 Cloas under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling Projects (also known as Project Split), allowing them to own 2,866.5 hectares of agricultural lands in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental. According to the Department of Agrarian Reform, some of the ARBs received two or three titles.

Marcos also turned over to the Negros Oriental Government seven farm-to-market roads, stretching a total of five kilometers and valued at P100 million, funded through Agrarian Reform Funds. These roads are in the municipalities of Amlan, Dauin, Ayungon, Tayasan and Bindoy, and the cities of Tanjay and Bais City.

The President said an additional 108 farm-to-market roads, with a total length of 170.7 kilometers and valued at P2.8 billion, will be opened in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor in the coming years.

Farm machinery

Eighteen agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations in Central Visayas also received farm machinery and equipment worth P17.5 million under the Climate-resilient Farm Productivity and Support Program. This initiative aims to benefit 3,268 farmer-beneficiaries from various ARB organizations in the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

The machinery and equipment include 45-horsepower tractors with trailers, floating tillers, grass cutters, corn mills, and food dehydrators.

In his speech, Negros Oriental Gov. Manuel “Chaco” Sagarbarria expressed his gratitude to Marcos for personally distributing the Cloas to Negrense farmers, allowing them to own the parcels of land they have been tilling for years.

“It will transform the lives of countless families and communities in our province,” Sagarbarria said.

In a sideline interview, DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said that the Cloas will be exempt from real property tax; however, the land parcels cannot be sold within the first ten years of ownership.

For this year, Estrella said the DAR aims to distribute at least 100,000 Cloas to qualified beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries are allowed to own land parcels not exceeding five hectares each.

Among the beneficiaries in Negros Oriental was Semion Academia, a 101-year-old farmer from Bais City. He received his Cloa for a parcel of land exceeding one hectare that he has been tilling for about 30 years.

Academia expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the opportunity to own the land where he cultivated various crops. / EHP

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