By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Thirty-two agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Cebu province have been installed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), ensuring that farmers with certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) have taken physical possession of their awarded land.
The ARBs were installed in landholdings formerly owned by the Paz Luna Corporation, which was covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 2000 with a total area of 78.95 hectares.
The agricultural lands are located in Brgy. Panugnawan in the municipality of Medellin, and Brgy. Dalingding in the municipality of Daanbantayan.
“Through this peaceful installation, we are ensuring that the farmers shall own, possess and actually till the land awarded to them,” said Central Visayas Regional Director Luis Bueno.
Bueno said the installation was previously resisted by the landowners themselves as well as by some farmer beneficiaries who were either identified as loyal to the previous owner or who has contracted lease agreement involving their awarded lands.
In his message to the ARBs, Bueno reiterated the marching order of President Duterte to pursue an “aggressive” land reform program that will help alleviate the life of poor Filipino farmers.
Prior to the actual installation, lawyer Alvin Arante of DAR-Cebu Legal Division conducted an orientation for the farmers of their rights, duties, and responsibilities.
He warned the farmers that there are violations that will result to disqualification or cancellation of their land titles issued to them if they fail to do their responsibilities as landowners.
Arante encouraged the farmers to take good care of the land awarded to them and to refrain from doing what is prohibited under the law, like leasing and selling the land.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Elvira Bation emphasized that giving land titles is not the end of CARP, but it is only the beginning.
“The department will continue to give support services for the farmers like trainings, farm implements and access to credit. Please make the land productive and do your duties and obligations like paying taxes and amortizations of your land,” she said