CEBU – Around 133.3529 hectares of farmlands were distributed to 137 agrarian reform beneficiaries in a ceremony led by Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones in Cebu recently.
The distributed certificates of land ownership award covered some farmlands in the towns of Daanbantayan, Medellin, Tabogon, and Minglanilla in Cebu province.
In his message, Castriciones urged the ARBs to cherish the day they received their respective CLOAs that signify their freedom from the bondage of tenancy.
The secretary said: "Ito ang araw na dapat tayo'y maging masaya sapagkat finally matatanggap ng ating mga farmer beneficiaries ang kanilang Certificates of Land ownership Award (CLOAs) na kanilang matagal na nilang hinihintay at yan ay magpapatunay na sila na ngayon ay talagang tunay na mga Pilipino na tunay na pagmamay-ari, sila ay biniyaya ng ating Panginoon Dios sa pamamagitan ng ating pamahalaan, ni President Rodrigo Roa Duterte at mga lingkod na magsasaka, ang mga kawani ng DAR sa tulong ng ating mga partners, mga LGUs, upang finally ang mga magsasaka ay makakatanggap ng kanilang lupa."
He also emphasized the continuing commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to strengthen the agrarian reform program in the country.
“We have to be happy and proud of our President because he is really committed to fulfilling his political promise to aggressively pursue the agrarian reform program,” Castriciones said.
He added: “Mahal na mahal ng Pangulo ang mga magsasaka, sa katunayan sinabi nya sa akin personally, Mr. Secretary ipamigay mo ang dapat ipamigay na lupa, tulungan mo ang mga magsasaka, bigyan mo sila ng capital upang ang kanilang pagsasaka ay maging maunlad at maging produktibo ang kanilang pagtatatnim at pagsasaka ng lupa.”
He also assured the farmers of the continued government support and assistance to ensure agricultural productivity, as he named the farmers as “the true heroes of the country.”
The secretary also disclosed that he is spearheading the housing program for farmers under the government Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
The housing program will be anchored on the capacity of the farmers to pay within a period of 30 years with an annual interest of 5 percent.
The recent distribution of CLOAs is among the highlights in the overall accomplishment of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Cebu.
Records showed that DAR-Cebu has already distributed around 35,198 hectares of farmlands to 34,319 ARBs as of April 30 this year.
ARBs who received their CLOAs also expressed happiness and gratitude to President Duterte and to the department.
Among the CLOA recipients include Eutropia S. Ababon, 82 and a widow from Vito Minglanilla town and Miguela Marco, 82, single of Candangas, Ilihan, Tabagon, Cebu.
The CLOA distribution was also witnessed by officials in Cebu to include Minglanilla Mayor Elanito A. Pena and Daangbanatayan Vice-Mayor Gilbert Arrabis, Jr.
Cebu 1st District Representative Gerald Anthony Gullas, 4th District Representative Benhur Salimbagon, and Medellin Mayor Joven Mordigo, Jr. also sent their respective representatives during the CLOA distribution.
Land Bank of the Philippines head Atty. Peter Canoso and Cebu Provincial Assessor Atty. Hazel Espina also graced the occasion together with the top officials of DAR-Cebu.
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