MANILA: About 93 per cent of the close to 6,000 farmer beneficiaries have been installed in the lots awarded to them from the huge sugar estate owned by the family of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, according to a senior official of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Anthony Parungao, the DAR undersecretary for legal affairs, reported they were also encouraging and aiding the farmers to set up co-operatives or similar organisations so they could avail of the support service programmes and resources offered by the DAR.
To achieve this, Parungao said the DAR was giving especial attention to farmer-beneficiaries who own contiguous lots so that scheduling of the use of farm machineries such as tractors could be rationalised.
“We are assisting the farmers in making the transition into owner-cultivators,” Parungao said, referring to the 6,000 beneficiaries who were awarded lots from the huge sugar estate called Hacienda Luisita owned by the Cojuangco clan.
Aquino’s mother the late global democracy icon president Corazon C. Aquino belonged to the clan, one of the country’s most powerful and influential families based in Tarlac province in Central Luzon.
“We are helping the farmers to organise themselves to enable them to increase farm production and the marketing of their products,” Parungao pointed out.
He added DAR was to implement before the end of May the installation of the remaining farmer-beneficiaries in the lots awarded to them through a process called “monumenting.”
Monumenting, Parungao explained, involves the physical delineation on the ground of the lots awarded to the farmers by placing boundary markers mainly to prevent conflict and confusion.