The Department of Agrarian Reform on Monday started distributing land titles to Hacienda Luisita beneficiaries.
In a text message to GMA News Online, DAR Undersecretary Anthony Parungao said that as of Monday afternoon, a total of 662 Certificates of Land Ownership Award were distributed to 597 farmer-beneficiaries.
Parungao said the CLOA (land title given to agrarian reform beneficiaries) distribution started earlier in the day in Barangay Pando.
He said that it is possible for each beneficiary to receive more than one CLOA. He explained that the 6,600 square meter land awarded to beneficiaries may be divided and separated by barriers, such as canals, irrigation facilities, firebreaks, roads, and each divided portion would need a CLOA.
"Mahirap i-carve ang buong 6600 square meters of land dahil may mga nakaharang na barrier na canals, irrigation facilities, firebreaks, roads, etc...," he said.
Earlier, a post on the Philippine Information Agency website said Parungao had announced that the agency will be conducting the distribution of the CLOAs to qualified farmer-beneficiaries of 10 barangays in Hacienda Luisita from September 30 up to the middle of October.
He said the DAR has filed the CLOAs of about 5,800 qualified farmer-beneficiaries with the Register of Deeds.
Parungao added that as of September 25, a total of 296 beneficiaries have yet to claim their Lot Allocation Certificates (LACs), while 337 have yet to sign and file their Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertakings (APFUs).
However, he stressed that the DAR continues to seek beneficiaries who are unable to claim their LACs or file their APFUs as some of them are living abroad or outside Tarlac.
“We have taken the initiative of searching for these beneficiaries to see how we can help them claim their lots,” Parungao said. “Our field facilitators are out there seeking them out so they can assist them.”
Proof of ownership
Parungao said under the law, beneficiaries would need to pay amortization for their "CARP-awarded land" for 30 years.
However, he clarified that only the certified true copies of their CLOAs will be distributed, which will constitute proof of ownership, while their Owner's Duplicate Copy of the CLOAs will be kept at the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The schedule for the distribution of CLOAs are as follows:
Pando - September 30
Motrico - October 1
Lourdes - October 2
Parang - October 8
Malibog - October 9
Bantog - October 10
Cutcut - October 15
Asturias - October 16
Balete - October 17
Mapalacsiao - October 18
“After the CLOA distribution, what remains to be done is the delineation of the boundaries of the farm lots on the ground by setting up monuments or boundary stones,” Parungao added, noting that monumenting is the physical marking of lots with "muhons" or boundary stones.
He, however, explained that since most of the land is currently planted with mature sugar cane, it will be impossible to mark the lots on the ground before the harvest season sometime this November.
He said he expects the monumenting to finish by early next year.
Last November, the Supreme Court, voting 14-0, ordered the distribution of almost 5,000 hectares of land to some 6,000 farmer beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI), the sugar plantation owned by the Cojuangco side of the family of President Benigno Aquino III.
The land titles were raffled off last July among the qualified beneficiaries.
Each beneficiary received over 6,600 square meters of land in the Tarlac sugar plantation. —Amanda Fernandez/KG/RSJ/KBK, GMA News