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DAR extends agrarian aid to farmers, associations at BPSF launch

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has extended assistance to 592 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) and three farmer associations during the launch of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in Leyte on Sept. 23-24, at the Visayas State University, Tolosa, Leyte.

A total of 665 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) were distributed to the said ARBs from Ormoc City and towns in Alangalang, Babatngon, Barugo, Bato, Burauen, Capoocan, Carigara, Dagami, Hilongos, Jaro, Kananga, La Paz, Leyte, MacArthur, Matalom, Mayorga, Merida, Palompon, San Miguel, Tabango, and Villaba.

The land titles covered an aggregate farm area of 997.7358 hectares. They were issued under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project funded by the World Bank, improving the land tenure security and strengthening the property rights of the ARBs.

Meanwhile, farm machinery and equipment amounting to P1.5 million were turned over to the three farmer associations, namely Calaguise Agriculture Cooperative, Taytay-Iphag-Gapas Irrigators Association, and the Pong-on Farmers Association from the towns of Leyte, Jaro, and Matalom, respectively.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Leyte Governor Jericho Petilla, assisted by the DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony P. Yu, distributed the assistance to the beneficiaries during the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in Leyte on Sept. 23-24, 2023, at the Visayas State University, Tolosa campus. (Photo courtesy of DAR-8)
Agrarian assistance and farm machinery and equipment were turned over to the beneficiaries. (Photo courtesy of DAR-8)

Agrarian legal and support services were also provided during the fair to assist the farmers with their queries and concerns related to farming, titles, and livelihood.

Marivic Mendoza, a 61-year-old mother of three from Capoocan, Leyte, gave her appreciation to the fair, as she received 2.2 hectares of land title without spending a single cent.

DAR ensures that all assistance given will be used according to its purpose, as they monitor them every semester. The monitoring includes a deed of donation, inventory, and farming operations.

Furthermore, DAR will put a condonation response and action desk in Eastern Visayas in response to implementing the Republic Act No. 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which condones worth P57 billion debts to farmers.

In a statement, DAR Regional Director Robert Anthony P. Yu said this law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) was already placed and signed in their office in September 2023. The beneficiaries in the region will feel its full implementation effect in the following months.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed this Act in July 2023, affecting the loans of more than 600,000 beneficiaries – writing off the amortization of principal payments, interests, and penalties on the land they are presently tilling.

The new law ultimately lifts the real estate mortgage attached to the awarded land, cancels mortgage annotation on the Emancipation Patent (EP) and Certificate of Landownership Award (CLOA), and recognizes ARBs as full-fledged owners of the awarded lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

ARBs are entitled to tax exemptions and receive support from CARP-implementing agencies, especially the Department of Agriculture (DA), which will provide support services, and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), which will offer credit facilities.

Regional Director Yu encouraged the publice to visit their agrarian offices and participate in the Serbisyo Fair so that they would know the programs of the government agencies. 

"We are willing in DAR Region 8 to provide assistance in whatever support we can share with them,” the director said. (MMP/AAC/PIA Leyte)

Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) receive the Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). (Photo courtesy of DAR-8)
Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) received the Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and other agrarian assistance from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). (Photo courtesy of DAR-8)

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Aaron Cotejar

Information Officer

Region 8

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