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After 20 years, 128 Bohol farmers own the land they till

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By Minerva BC Newman and Dandan A. Bantugan

Tagbilaran City — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Bohol Provincial Field Office expects improved agricultural productivity from the 128 Bohol farmers who are agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who received their individual certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) this month after more than 20 years of tilling their lands.

Crispiniano Fuerzas, 54, married with two children from Barangay Maitum, Catigbian, Bohol and AnecitoGranaderos, 57, married with six children from Barangay Mahayag, San Miguel town are just two of the 128 farmers who had been through many promises of land title ownership from almost two decades of processing.

Nong Crispiano still couldn’t believe that he now owns the land he tills. “I did not expect this will come true. There were promises before that land titles will be released to us. Recently, I heard that President Duterte ordered to fast-track the processing of CLOAs. I thought it was just another promise. It came out to be true, he said in the local dialect.

DAR Usec Karlo Bello, DAR-7 regional director Alejandro Otacan, DAR Bohol chief Grace Fua and governor Edgar Chatto voiced high expectations on increased farm production from the new land owners.

The officials believe the distribution of the CLOAs may end the insurgency problem in many areas.

CLOA recipient Nong Cipriano said he is also hopeful that he may improve his farm production with the various inputs from DAR and other government agencies. He lives in barangay Maitum in Catigbian town, known to be the hotbed of insurgency in the ’80s.

Chatto on the other hand called on the ARBs to develop fully their landholdings. He also recognized DAR’s contributions to the overall efforts of the provincial government of Bohol to bring down the poverty incidence in the area.

“Landlessness and land problems Chatto said are among the root causes of poverty and conflicts in Bohol.”

According to the DAR-7 2017 accomplishment report, the 128 CLOAs are part of the 160 lots within the 103.535 hectares that are set for distribution to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) from the towns of Carmen, Catigbian, Getafe, Danao, Pilar, San Miguel, Sierra-Bullones and Guindulman.

The report said Carmen town has 8.2725 hectares covered; Catigbian with 17.4924 hectares; Getafe with 5.4217 and 19.5585 hectares; Danao with 12.3711 hectares; Pilar with 13.6240 and 2.1319 hectares; San Miguel with 0.4473 and 8.2445 hectares; Sierra Bullones with 5.6982 hectares; and Guindulman with 10.2730 hectares.

Earlier this month Usec Bello lauded the efforts of DAR-Bohol for the fast processing and the release of CLOAs and emphasized the impact of their efforts to the lives of the 128 ARBs.

Bello reiterated President Duterte’s mandate to DAR to accelerate the processing and release of individual land titles to the poor farmers. DAR recorded 92 percent accomplishment in 2017.

DAR-7 regional director Alejandro Otacan reminded the ARBs that aside from CLOA distribution, DAR is also mandated to provide the beneficiaries with support programs and services to help them develop their farms and improve their lives.

PARPO-Bohol Grace Fua thanked the landowners who allowed their lands to be covered under the agrarian reform program of the government and said DAR is serious in its implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) here in Bohol.

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