QUEZON CITY – Newly appointed Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Acting Secretary John Castriciones assumed his post on Thursday in a “meet and greet” ceremony held at the agency’s central office in this city.
Castriciones was appointed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to head the DAR effective December 1 this year.
He was welcomed by top DAR officials led by Undersecretaries Rosalina L. Bistoyong and Karlo S. Bello. Other DAR officials, to include department heads were also present during the occasion.In his message, the new DAR chief wants to fast-track the distribution of certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) and the provision of support programs and services to ARB organizations.
Castriciones emphasized that under his leadership, farmers especially those qualified to benefit from the agrarian reform program of the government must be prioritized.
He added that neglecting the farmers and the disregard of their plight are among the reasons of unrest, especially in the countryside.
Castriciones also took notice of the continuing encampment of farmers outside the premises of DAR Central Office.
He urged the top officials of the DAR to look into the demands of the protesting farmers for them to end their protest and go home to their respective families and communities during Christmas season.
He also echoed President Duterte’s continuing fight against graft and corruption in the government and urged the officers and employees of DAR to serve the public with honesty and integrity.
Prior to his appointment to DAR, Castriciones served as Undersecretary for Operations at the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
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