Published: Wednesday, 27 February 2013 09:29 PM
It’s final. A total of 6,212 farmworkers are deemed qualified to be beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgiliodelos Reyes today announced that a total of 6,212 farmworkers have made it to the Final Master List of Beneficiaries that would be awarded parcels of land in Hacienda Luisita under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The names of the beneficiaries were listed in tarpaulins posted by officials and employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), led by Secretary Delos Reyes, in the 10 barangays covering Hacienda Luisita before noon today.
The Final Master List was drawn in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive that only farmworkers who were actually working in Hacienda under LuisitaTarlac Development Corporation (TADECO) in the year 1989 can qualify as beneficiaries of CARP-covered land in the country’s biggest sugar estate.
The beneficiaries were verified by thoroughly reviewing the list submitted by Hacienda Luisita Inc. (HLI) to the Supreme Court (the so-called 6296 list); a list of farmworkers who participated in the 1989 stock distribution option proceedings (MOA List); all documents submitted by the farmworkers directly to the DAR; and documents acquired by the DAR from the Social Security System (SSS).
Out of the 8,641 farm workers who were interviewed and screened for the list, the names of 5,365 workers were included in the Preliminary Master List of Farmworker-Beneficiaries posted by the DAR in Hacienda Luisita on October 31, 2012.
Posted on the same date was a Provisional List of Beneficiaries, which contained the names of 1,218 farmworkers who were required to submit additional requirements to prove they were working in the Hacienda in 1989.
Groups and individuals were given until December 1, 2012, to file Petitions for Inclusion or Petitions for Exclusion or, for those in the Provisional List, submit additional evidence of employment as farmworker in Hacienda Luisita in 1989.
A total of 357 potential beneficiaries petitioned the DAR to have their names included in the Final Masterlist, while no group or individual filed a petition for exclusion.
All 5,365 workers who were included in the Preliminary Master List were included in the Final Masterlist by virtue of the fact that no one filed a petition for exclusion.
Another set of 847 farmworkers were included in the Final Master List after they have shown sufficient evidence to prove that they were employed in TADECO as of 1989, such as, among others, government records showing that they made contributions to the SSS in 1989 as TADECO farmworkers.
The surveying firm commissioned by the DAR pursuant to the procurement laws and rules is expected to finish its first phase of land survey this March. In this first phase of land survey, the surveying firm will segregate from one another the different types of areas within the Hacienda - such as, among others, the agricultural lots, concrete roads, and irrigation canals.
The Hacienda will thereafter be subdivided into 6,212 lots for the individual beneficiaries plus such parcels of lands which will hold common facilities, such as, among others, roads and irrigation canals. The lots of each beneficiary will then be allotted taking into account its proximity to their residence, roads, preferred adjacent lot owners, irrigation canals, and other common facilities.
The DAR, together with the Department of Agriculture and the Sugar Regulatory Authority, is also already drawing up the plans for the support services programs that will be provided to the beneficiaries.
Given this timetable, the DAR is optimistic that it would meet its self-imposed target to distribute the land to the qualified beneficiaries in May or June.
The schedule of land distribution would not be delayed even if HLI decide to contest the valuation of the land. The DAR would proceed with the land distribution in Hacienda Luisita pending resolution of the valuation issue, he explained.
In compliance with the directive of the Supreme Court to distribute the Hacienda only to the qualified beneficiaries or their successors-in-interest, the DAR had conducted two rounds of interviews, each done simultaneously in each of the barangays covering Hacienda Luisita.
More than 120 DAR field personnel from Tarlac, Region III, and Central Office had been mobilized for the interviews, which attracted a total of 8,641 applicants who believe that he/she is a qualified beneficiary or is an heir of one.
The DAR also procured from the SSS its records pertaining to the employees of the TADECO in 1989, considering that TADECO was the landowner of Hacienda Luisita, and the employer of the farmworkers working there, before the landholding was transferred to HLI for purposes of the Stock Distribution Plan.
To expedite the verification process, the accomplished Interview Sheet Forms (ISF) with the DAR-Provincial Office in Tarlac were simultaneously processed at the HLI Back Office at the DAR Central Office (DARCO), involving around 100 personnel and staff not only from the DARCO itself but also from the DARROs in Regions 4-A and 4-B, who worked on double shifts on a daily basis.
This strategy, called the One-DAR Concept, aims to pool the resources of the department in the Central Office and regional/provincial offices in order to fast-track land distribution throughout the country.
Personnel from provinces left with small number of lands to distribute, together with Central Office staff, are now required to extend assistance to personnel of provinces with large numbers of land still to be distributed.
As an example, the field personnel in Aklan and Antique who are now assisting Negros Occidental personnel in processing claim folders, conducting FB-identification activities and field investigations.
The personnel from Camarines Norte are also working hand-in-hand with their colleagues in Camarines Sur to deliver the targets in Region V.
The One-DAR Concept was adopted in recognition of the zeal and dedication demonstrated by field personnel from Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales and Bataan who assisted their colleagues in Tarlac during the information campaigns and the month-long conduct of interviews of potential beneficiaries in Hacienda Luisita.
Department of Agrarian Reform Elliptical Road, Diliman Quezon City, Philippines Tel: (632) 928-7031 to 39
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