Mariano was in the province for the joint EP/CLOA (emancipation patents/certificates of land ownership award) Distribution Caravan of the DAR provincial offices of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.
“Ang hamon sa DAR at sa mga ARBs, inaasahan po natin na lalo pa ninyong gagawing produktibo at pagyayamanin pa ang lupang inyong lilinangin at siyempre po, yan naman ang pangunahing pinangggalingan ng kabuhayan ng ating mga kanya-kanyang pamilya ng ating mga agrarian reform beneficiaries,” Sec. Mariano told hundreds of ARBs from Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.
Of the 20 provinces he has visited since his appointment as agrarian reform Secretary, he said the estimated number of ARBs awarded with CLOAs is about 5,000. He also encouraged the farmer-beneficiaries to have dialogues with the DAR as evinced by the symbolical opening of the gates of the DAR Central Office when he was appointed as secretary.
“Ang patakaran natin ay open door, ibig sabihin bukas po tayo sa mga dialogo, pakikipagkonsulta, interaksyon, pakikipanayam, open forum kasama ang ating mga pangunahing mga stakeholders, ang atin pong mga magsasaka at sa atin pong mga beneficiary,” Mariano said.
A farmer and a champion of the farmers’ rights since his youth, Mariano is continuing his advocacies through his thrusts and policy directives for implementation by the workforce of the department.
First and foremost in his directive is the promotion of farmers’ rights and welfare and the protection of farmers’ security of tenure.
“Dapat ganap na maging pag-aari ng magsasaka ang kanyang lupa, magkaroon siya ng direkta at aktual na control, posesyon, at 'yung patuloy ngang cultivation, pagbubungkal sa lupa. ‘Yun po ang pangunahin. Ngunit kailangan po ng tuloy-tuloy na suporta sa atin pong mga magsasaka. At hinahanap nga po natin na ang ating mga magsasaka, hindi na napipilitan pong umutang sa mga local money lenders na nagpapatubo naman po nang napakataas,” he said.
He informed the farmers of the recent action of President Rodrigo Duterte who convened the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) which he said was never assembled for ten years since the Arroyo administration.
During his visit, Mariano also led the ceremonial turn-over of CLOAs and multiple projects in the provinces of Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya during the program. (Hazel P. Buctayon)
Photo 1: Sec. Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano.
Photo 2: More than 500 farmers attended the EP/CLOA Distribution Caravan of the DAR provincial offices of Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino.