By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has distributed a total of 834 land titles in Maguindanao.
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Agrarian Reform Secretary Dayang Carlsum Sangkula-Jumaide said the emancipation patents (EP) and certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) received by 780 landless farmers cover at least 1,740.3 hectares in 17 municipalities of Maguindanao.
The latest turnover of titles comes at the heels of another land distribution late last year in Kidapawan City in Cotabato Province.
This was the biggest single-day land distribution in the history of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, where 6,424 farmer-beneficiaries received a total of 11,443 hectares of agricultural land.
Wilson Balena, an agrarian reform beneficiary from Upi, Maguindanao, thanked and promised the government that he will cultivate the land he received.
Jumaide cited that the distributed farm lots include 453.3 hectares in Buluan, 396.1 hectares in Kabuntalan, 175.6 hectares in Datu Abdullah Sangki, 179.4 hectares in Datu Saudi Ampatuan, 174.8 hectares in Datu Paglas, 88.9 hectares in Mamasapano, and 48.9 hectares in Mangudadatu.
It also consists of 47.6 hectares in Sultan Kudarat, 33 hectares in Datu Anggal Midtimbang, 23.5 hectares in Upi, 23.1 hectares in Rajah Buayan, 19 hectares in Datu Odin Sinsuat, 17.9 hectares in Sultan sa Barongis, 17.6 hectares in Ampatuan, 15.7 hectares in Guidulungan, 11.6 hectares in Talayan, and 10.1 hectares in Talitay.
President Rodrigo Duterte led the distribution of land titles.
Officials who also attended the program were DAR Secretary John Castriciones, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, Maguindanao Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu, and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.