TANZA CITY, Cavite – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is urging agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to stand by the only national government agency that caters to the needs of its constituents down to the ground level, the barangays, by helping themselves raise their standards of living through greater agricultural productivity.
DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Rosalina Bistoyong said some critics have labeled the DAR as ineffective in its pursuit of sustainable rural development through CARP because the situation on the ground has hardly changed, if at all.
Bistoyong attributed it to the mentality of some farmer-beneficiaries, who consider pawning or selling their CARP-awarded farmlots as a quick-fix solution to their miserable condition.
“Pawning or selling of CARP-awarded farmlots appears to be the only logical choice to some. Yes, you may get the immediate but measly return that may last for a day or two.
However, when you harness your farmlots, you will get more than what you can think of for a lifetime,” Bistoyong said in an impromptu speech before various ARB organizations (ARBOs) during the Information Technology-enabled Maturity Assessment (ITeMA) Feedbacking at Tanza Oasis Hotel here.
The top ten ARBOs in the area were also recognized during the occasion and were lauded by top DAR officials for making headways in the implementation of their respective plans and programs.
Bistoyong also emphasized that DAR could only do so much to bring back the dignity that had been taken from the farmers, but only if they would reciprocate by making their farmlots more productive, instead of, pawning or selling them for certain amount that could help them get by for a while.
“Help us improve your living condition by cultivating your farmlots. Join farmers’ organizations so you can enjoy to the hilt the assistance the DAR is extending to farmer-beneficiaries through the ARBOs,” she added.
DAR is mandated under the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to put on pride, respectability, and justice to the farmers in the country by fast-tracking the processing and release of the certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) and the provision of support programs and services.
DAR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research David Erro agreed that the ARBOs are DAR’s partners in pursuit of its goal of spurring rural development.
He, however, observed that something is amiss as the assistance intended for the farmer-beneficiaries hardly reached the needy ones.
“Most often, the ones benefiting the most are the influential few in the ARBOs,” Erro said, referring to the leaders.
Erro said it about time that we consider a paradigm shift to correct any lapses that may have been committed in the past that resulted to the failure of delivering the goods down to the needy members of the ARBOs.
“It is here where the DAR can come in to institute corrective measures to ensure that the revenues generated by the ARBOs and the dividends derived from these earnings are properly accounted for and fairly distributed to all regardless of their standings in the organizations,” Erro stressed.
“Dapat lahat ng kasapi ng organization maging kasukat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga liders. Dapat walang naiiwan (It is imperative that the living condition of all members of the organization should be, at least, at the level of the leaders. Nobody should be left to fend for themselves),” Erro said, short of saying that a monitoring unit be created to check regularly the revenues generated by the ARBOs from the assistance extended by the DAR.
Public Assistance and Media Relations Service (PAMRS) Director Leomides R. Villareal was also present during the assessment to personally oversee the documentation proceedings of the event.
Villareal said DAR’s achievements in terms of providing appropriate support and services to the ARBs and its massive campaign to protect their interests must be conveyed to the public through news and photo releases and video productions.
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