BUTUAN CITY (Nov. 15, 2016)— More than 500 farmers met DAR Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano here during the Department’s Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) Congress to hear him talk about his thrusts and policy directions.
Ka Peng said as DAR Secretary, his first and foremost agenda is to protect farmers’ rights and ensure their security of tenure. “Under my watch, no farmer will be unjustly evicted from the land he tills,” Ka Paeng vowed.
He said this administration under President Rodrigo Duterte is committed to provide sufficient provision for support services to help them become productive.
“In improving the quality of life of farmers, we will provide mechanisms for improved agricultural productivity and livelihood projects. We will strengthen organizational governance and expand their employment opportunities,” explained Ka Paeng.
The Secretary also discussed the salient points of the genuine agrarian reform. He said that the program seeks to break up land monopoly and distribute for free the agricultural lands within a period that is just to Filipino farmers, agricultural workers, fisherfolk, and indigenous peoples.
“The genuine agrarian reform also aims to eliminate all forms of oppression and exploitation in the countryside and thereby pave the ground for the advent of genuine social justice,” Ka Paeng said.
The ARBs’ Congress is a two-day event that gathered around 500 farmers in Caraga to hear Secretary Mariano talk about his thrusts and priorities. It was also a venue where the DAR distributed economic benefits, loan credits, launched a project and distributed certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to ARBs.
Photo: Ka Paeng (inset) speaks before some 500 farmers present at the ARBs Congress organized by the DAR.