A MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH DAR completes Hacienda Luisita distribution

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interaksyonMANILA - Signifying a major breakthrough in land reform in the country, the Department of Agrarian Reform has finished distributing certificates of ownership to Hacienda Luisita farmworker-beneficiaries in the last of the 10 barangays in the sugarcane estate.

“The land in Luisita is now theirs,” DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said in a statement issued Saturday, after the department successfully completed the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to farmer-worker beneficiaries in Barangay Mapalacsiao in Hacienda Luisita. 

Hacienda Luisita, owned by the family of President Benigno Aquino III, has long represented powerful landowners’ strong resistance to agrarian reform. A cornerstone of any political and economic reform agenda, particularly in wealth redistribution, agrarian reform in the country counts the few members of the land-owning class among its enemies.

The distribution of the CLOAs met the Supreme Court deadline despite the damage caused by typhoon Santi to the area, including many of the barangay covered courts where the CLOA distribution activities were previously held, DAR said in the statement.

A total of 663 of 745 farmer-worker beneficiaries (FWBs) received certified true copies of their CLOAs in simple proceedings held at grounds of the barangay hall of Barangay Mapalacsiao.  

While DAR has finished distributing to all concerned barangays in Tarlac, it has not distributed all the CLOAs.

Data from DAR show that a total of 5,718 CLOAs were distributed to FWBs out of a total of 6,189 ready for distribution, or 92.39% of the CLOAs registered to date. CLOAs of other FWBs are still being registered with the Registry of Deeds or are still not generated pending the signing by some FWBs of their Application to Purchase and Farmers Undertaking.

De los Reyes said that the these figures are going up as FWBs who were not able to receive their CLOAs during the scheduled distribution activities in the barangays have actually been going to the DAR provincial office to get their certified true copies.

Installing the ‘mohons’

He said that following the distribution of certified true copies of the CLOAs, the DAR is preparing to install the FWBs in their lots. “We will be installing them in their lots as we progress with the ‘monumenting,’” de los Reyes said.

He explained that it is quite impossible to do this at this time when many of the lots are still planted with sugarcane, but assured the FWBs that this will be done when harvesting starts this month so that they will be able clear the area where the “mohons” (concrete boundary markers) will be placed.

De los Reyes also assured the farmer-worker beneficiaries of the DAR’s continuing support, saying that even now the department is engaged in testing and determining soil samples to be used as the definitive reference in the customized interventions and menu of support services to be offered to the FWBs, in recognition of the kinds of crops the FWBs may want to plant. 

DAR began the distribution of CLOAs on September 30 in Barangay. Pando. In the subsequent weeks, it distributed certified true copies of CLOAs to FWBs in Barangays Motrico, Lourdes, Parang, Mabilog, Bantug, Cutcut, Asturias, Balete, and Mapalacsiao.

In July, farmers belonging to the Unyon ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura filed before the Supreme Court an omnibus motion to stop and nullify the raffle and distribution of CLOAs, among others. The high tribunal has not issued a restraining order, allowing DAR to continue with an earlier Supreme Court order to distribute the 6,435-hectare sugar plantation in Tarlac.

Source: http://www.interaksyon.com/article/73069/a-major-breakthrough--dar-completes-hacienda-luisita-distribution