Cagayan Valley Farmers Now Land Owners

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ALFONSO CASTAÑEDA, Nueva Vizcaya—Eighty farmers from Brgy. Lublub here finally received their certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) after waiting for almost three years during the land distribution ceremony on Feb. 17 at the barangay Lublub gymnasium.

Ninety-five CLOAs were distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) covering an area of 144.8845 hectares located in the barangays Sitio Tugoy and Sitio Macabunao.

Agrarian Reform Regional Director Homer P. Tobias encouraged the ARBs to make the best use out of their newly titled lands by establishing an agrarian reform based-organization through which they can be assisted by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

“Kami po ay hindi makakapagbigay ng suporta sa inyo nang paisa-isa. Kailangan po kayo ay isang organisadong grupo. ‘Pag hindi po kasi kayo organisadong grupo, hindi po namin kayo mabibigyan ng assistance. Dahil kalimitang ang assistance po ng ating pamahalaan ay idinadaan sa pamamagitan ng organisasyon at hindi po indibidwal,” Tobias said.

He also urged them to explore possibilities of planting other crops in the area, other than tiger grass, which is the common crop is the barangay.
A graduate of agriculture, major in soil science, Tobias shared how they were once able to grow coconut trees in the rocky soil of the island of Manamoc in Cuyo, Palawan.

“Isa pong involvement ko noong araw ay small island development program. Tinutulungan po namin ‘yung mga isla sa Palawan. May mga lugar po diyan na hindi basta-basta tutubuan ng tanim, kung kaya nag-introduce kami ng tinatawag na soil amendment. Sa lugar po ng Cuyo, Palawan, isla po ng Manamoc, ang ginawa po namin diyan, nagpapahukay kami diyan ng isang metro kuwadrado at lahat po ng butas na yan, pinalagyan po namin ng bagong lupa. Bagamat walang lupa na makukuha dun sa isla na garden soil, nagpadala kami ng garden soil sa kung saan pinakamalapit at ‘yung garden soil na ‘yun, inilagay po namin sa hukay na iyon,” he recounted.

During the distribution rites, Alfonso Castañeda Mayor Jerry P. Pasigian thanked the DAR for the ARBs’ “answered prayer.”

“Ito po ang kasagutan ng ating panalangin na kung saan ang atin pong mga binubungkal na lupa ay mapapasaatin kaya’t marami pong salamat sa DAR. Ako po ay nagpapahiwatig ng aking pasasalamat sapagkat hindi lang po dito sa Lublub, kundi pati doon sa upland barangays natin na nasukat na rin po,” Pasigian said.

He also echoed the advice of Tobias and urged the ARBs to keep their lands and not mortgage them immediately.

“Kasi ‘pag sinangla niyo ‘yan, padadagdagan ninyo [ang hiniram ninyo] hanggang sa hindi niyo na kayang tubusin. Kawawa naman ang inyong mga anak kapag nawala na ‘yang titulo na ‘yan na sumasakop sa kinatitirikan ng mga bahay ninyo. Sa bandang huli, hindi na magiging taga-doon ang mga anak ninyo sa lupang kinalakihan nila. Kaya’t sana ‘wag po nating balewalain itong ating tittulong tatanggapin,” Mayor Pasigian advised. (Hazel P. Buctayon)

Photo 1: An ARB personally receives his title from Regional Director Homer P. Tobias.

Photo 2: Agrarian reform beneficiaries from Brgy. Lublub, Alfonso Castañeda, Nueva Vizcaya, along with officials and employees of DAR, express their joy during the CLOA distribution ceremony.

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