FARMERS who have been tilling government lands for years in a town in Surigao del Sur have all the reasons to celebrate this year as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) facilitated the distribution of their certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) last Tuesday, January 30.
A total of 61 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) received their respective CLOAs that covered around 110.8 hectares of government lands that are part of barangays Anahao, Bago, Badong, Lindoy and Bangsud all in the town of Tago, Surigao del Sur.
DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Karlo S. Bello said that this is the beginning of continued agricultural development in the province of Surigao del Sur.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte ordered us (DAR) to give the farmers what is due to them. He wants to make good on his promise to uplift the economic lives of our landless farmers that is why he wants to hasten the distribution of lands in the countryside,” Bello said.
Bello revealed that last year, the DAR has improved its performance. “We were able to accomplish in three months what the past administration can do in nine months,” he pointed out.
Bello also added that the President Duterte wants individual titling of lands for the beneficiaries, not the collective CLOAs.
The Undersecretary also recognized the collective effort of the DAR personnel in this province for helping the farmers achieve their dreams.
DAR CARAGA Regional Director Engr. Felix B. Aguhob also emphasized during the distribution ceremony that the ARB will only need to pay taxes since the awarded lands are government owned.
Aguhob also urged the farmers to make the newly-awarded lands productive.
“DAR is here to help you cultivate the lands as we are mandated to provide you the necessary assistance and support services to develop the properties and be more productive to improve your economic lives,” he said.
Farmer-beneficiary Pablito Montero, 71 years old, said that he is very happy to finally own a land he was dreaming of for years.
“I may be old to possess this land, but at least my children will own this when I leave this world,” he said.
The distribution of CLOAs was also graced by Surigao del Sur Governor Vicente Pimentel who lauded DAR for the continuing support to the farmers in the area.
Pimentel also challenged the ARBs to develop their farmlands to show that the efforts of DAR are not wasted.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Benjamin Mataksil said that they will double their efforts in empowering the farmers especially now that President Duterte has expressed full support to the department.
The CLOA distribution on Tuesday was also covered by the Public Assistance and Media Relations Service (PAMRS) of DAR Central Office headed by Director Leomides R. Villareal.
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