SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur—120 farmers here are relieved after waiting for their income from their land in the form of economic benefits which should have been given to them five years ago.
The economic benefits consisted of lease rentals from their lands and profits earned from enterprises operated by the cooperative.
Today, the farmers of the Ronquillo group finally received their economic benefits in cash from the NGEI Multi-Purpose Cooperative. This farmer group is one of the breakaway groups from the original NGEI Multi-Purpose Cooperative formed in 1988.
“Two groups have since broken away from NGEI and formed their own,” said Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Field Operations Marcos Risonar, Jr.
Risonar said the five-year delay was due to problems in revalidating original agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in 1988 and those who became members after 1988.
“The problem arose when the two original farmer-groups of the NGEI and the NGPI Multi-Purpose Cooperatives started encountering problems in running their respective cooperatives which resulted in some disgruntled members to resign from their cooperatives. Some of them encouraged those who resigned to join them in forming their own group,” said Risonar.
In the recent validation process conduced and identified by the DAR, out of the 1,625 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who became members of the NGEI and NGPI cooperatives in 1988, there are still 242 ARBs who were not able to come for validation.
To reach out to these farmers, Risonar ordered the DAR in Caraga Region to publish the their names in newspapers of general circulation.
“Just like those who were validated, these 242 ARBs will have to undergo a process. We will require them to bring pertinent documents to be properly validated,” explains Risonar.
Photo 1: Undersecretary Marcos Risonar (center) distributes economic benefit in cash to a farmer while Regional Director Julita Ragandang and Assistant Director Joey Sumatra looks on.
Photo 2: Risonar and Ragandang pose with farmer-beneficiaries.
Photo 3: Farmer-beneficiaries pose happily with their economic benefits in cash.