By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
At least 220 farmers have been awarded 349 hectares of land by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Tarlac last Tuesday.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano said 228 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) received 303 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) situated in the municipalities of Anao, Camiling, Moncada, San Jose, San Manuel, Tarlac and Victoria.
He was assisted by DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Rosalina Bistoyong and Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ileona Pangilinan.
“The CLOAs are just the first step towards more support from the government. Under the various programs and services of the DAR, farmers can avail of credit assistance, farm machineries, free agrarian legal advice and agrarian justice for farmers who have land problems,” Mariano said.
Bistoyong urged the ARBs to make the best use out of their newly titled lands by establishing an agrarian reform based-organization through which they can be assisted by the DAR.
“Support services is not given individually. It is important that you join or group yourselves into cooperatives so that you can readily avail of support services from the government,” Bistoyong explained to the farmers.
According to Pangilinan, the department has lined up livelihood projects and programs for the farmers of Central Luzon.