By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City — At least 46,072 farmers are set to receive the land titles to their farms next year, according to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
With the Senate’s recent approval of DAR’s P10.27-billion budget in 2018, the DAR is eyeing to distribute 53,841 hectares next year to these Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).
DAR’s Land Tenure Security Program has a P2.86-billion budget, Agrarian Justice Delivery Program (P935.7 million) and Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (P1.87-billion) under the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP).
The P10.27-billion proposed budget under the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP) includes among others, a P1.59-billion allocation for general administration and support as well as P693.4 million for support to operations, which include funding for policy formulation, planning, monitoring and agrarian reform information and education.
DAR has already distributed 4.74 million hectares to 2.8 million ARBs from 1972 to March 2017.
“This year, DAR targets to distribute a total of 48,588 hectares to 46,253 agrarian reform beneficiaries. From January to June 2017, DAR has already covered a total of 11,356 hectares,” said DAR Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong, in a statement.
She added that under the Duterte administration, the agency will work to provide sufficient support to farmers and further develop the agriculture sector of the country.
Meanwhile, the regional office of the DAR 13 said a total of 847 ARBs will soon benefit from a R21-million financial package from a partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) project called Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment Project (Converge).
IFAD Project Managing Consultant Gomer G. Tumbali, said the project’s primary goal is to increase agricultural productivity of abaca farmers and promote their welfare and development.
“The project is expected to reduce poverty incidence by engaging the farmer-groups in value chain-based agricultural processes for abaca production in the area,” Tumbali said.
The recipients of the funds are farmers belonging to 21 peoples’ organizations (POs) and one cooperative identified as San Isidro Upland Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Andre B. Atega said the funds will be utilized to enhance the production of farmers in 700 hectares of abaca plantation in the municipalities of Tubay, Jabonga, Kitcharao and Santiago.