Awarding of Hacienda Luisita farm lots almost completed

on . Posted in DAR In The News
inquirerMANILA— Only 222 farm workers have yet to be installed on their farm lots at Hacienda Luisita, the Department of Agrarian Reform said Friday.

The agency said it had awarded land to 5,990 beneficiaries, or 96.43 percent, of the 6,212 Luisita workers entitled to a parcel of the sprawling sugar estate in Tarlac under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and based on a Supreme Court ruling.

In a news release, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer  Ileona Pangilinan said it was possible to install the remaining 222 farmers before the end of May.

“[If] there are no outside forces to hinder our activities, we will be finished before June. Almost all of the CARP-awarded lots were already placed with boundary markers or mujons,” Pangilinan said.

She said some of the land still had standing crops and would be harvested soon so that the department would be able to put markers on the property and install the remaining farm workers.

Aside from awarding land to the beneficiaries, the DAR also offers support services, such as the provision of credit facilities, farm machinery and training programs to increase the productivity of their newly acquired lands.

The release reported newly installed farmer-beneficiary Pedro Aguilar Jr. from Barangay Pando as saying the DAR was already inviting him to attend seminars and workshops.

“I can’t wait to cultivate my land. I am much more excited when the DAR said that I should attend seminars they conduct to empower us,” Aguilar said.

In 1988, when the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, took effect, the owners of Hacienda Luisita gave the farmers an option to own shares of stock instead of land.

After a prolonged court battle, in 2012, the Supreme Court upheld with finality the decision of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council in 2005 to scrap the stock distribution option of Hacienda Luisita.

The court ordered the distribution of 4,915 hectares of the estate to 6,296 farm workers. The DAR later identified and released a final master list of 6,212 approved beneficiaries.