NEGROS OCCIDENTAL—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) made the new year promising for the 78 agrarian reform beneficiaries here when it distributed to them a total of 119.24 hectares of agricultural lands previously owned by the Victorias Milling Company.
Regional Director Alejandro Otacan said the acqusition of the sugarcane plantation by DAR through compulsory arbitration ended a decade of struggle among farmer beneficiaries from barangays XV, XV-A, XVIII-A all of Victorias City. “Now they can cultivate their lands with relative peace,” said Otacan.
According to Otacan, the Notice of Coverage (NOC) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) was issued to former landowner Victorias Milling Company in August of 2006. “In March 2002 the NOC was also issued to the Bank of the Philippine Islands and in June 2012, the Victorias Agricultural Land Corporation received the same NOC.”
In September 2005, the workers of Hacienda Florencia were organized into Florencia Workers Association with its President, farmer Ramon Lavides Sr.
A teary-eyed Lavides thanked the DAR and the Damayan ng mga Manggagawa, Mangingisda at Magsasaka (DAMMMBA) for helping them acquire their land.
“We are very grateful to DAR and DAMMMBA for patiently helping and guiding us in the processes of getting our land. The 10 years of waiting is all worth it,” said Lavides.