800 Surigao del Sur farmers now landowners

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WEB NATL CARAGA Surigao 20151006Farmers in Surigao del Sur got an early Christmas gift as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) awarded certificate of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to 802 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang, together with Municipal Mayor Candelario Viola, Jr. recently led the distribution of 1,715 hectares of agricultural lands to farmer beneficiaries in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
“Now that you own the land, be responsible and make it productive and progressive. We at DAR will provide you with support services to help you achieve this,” Ragandang said.
Mayor Viola explained that land reform “is not just giving lands. The government will also provide projects and programs to help farmers develop their lands and uplift their livelihood.”  
Ragandang expounded on Viola’s statement and explained that the department is following a method wherein simultaneous with the processing of the CLOAs, different support services would be facilitated, such as agrarian credit from Land Bank, agri-extension from DA, farm machineries from DAR and other assistance that would help strengthen the farmer beneficiaries and their cooperatives.
Farmer beneficiary Sanny Basigsig expressed his gratefulness after receiving his CLOA. “Now that I own this, I no longer need to worry about my rent for the use of the land.”
Another beneficiary, farmer Edilberto Barrios, said the land title gives him peace of mind “This is a dream come true. Now I have something to leave my children when I die.”
 WEB NATL CARAGA Surigao 20151006 2At the end of the ceremony, Ragandang promised to fast track the proposed establishment of two agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in Hinatuan where more than 1,500 farmer-beneficiaries reside.
ARCs are group of barangays with farmers awarded by DAR with lands and with convergence of development initiatives from the national and local governments, private organizations and foreign donor communities. -Pinky Roque
Photo 1:  Regional Director Julita Ragandang speaks before farmer-beneficiaries during the DAR’s distribution of certificate of land ownership awards in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Photo 2:  Farmer-beneficiaries show their CLOAs together with: Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Javier Galaura, Jr., RD Ragandang, Mayor Candelario Viola, Vice Mayor Cristina Camba, Provincial Governor Johnny Pimentel, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Benjamin Mataksil, Agrarian Reform Program Technologist Gilbert Jolejole, Provincial Assessor Edwin Acebedo and Official from the tax bureau.