NUEVA VIZCAYA—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) here recently conducted a validation of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Cagayan Valley’s southernmost barangay in Alfonso Castañeda, in a bid to find out if the lands awarded to them are still under their names and have not illegally sold by them.
DAR Regional Director Homer P. Tobias led the validation of 36 ARBs covering an area of 65.91 hectares in the mountain barangay of Lipuga inhabited by members of the Bugkalot tribe.
During the validation, Tobias encouraged the farmers to be a member of farmers’ organizations. He stressed the importance of organizing themselves into agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) for faster flow of support services.
“Hindi po tayo titigil na hanggang asosasyon lang kayo. Sasanayin po kayo ng pagmimiyembro sa isang kooperatiba at lahat ng pagsasanay tungkol doon hanggang sa mabuo kayo bilang isang kooperatiba,” Tobias said.
Assisting Tobias were DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Primo C. Lara, and municipal and barangay officials headed by Mayor Jerry P. Pasigian who also personally visited the farm lots of the ARBs in the barangay.
Mayor Pasigian, who is an ARB and a member of the Bugkalot tribe, thanked the DAR for supporting the farmers in establishing their own cooperatives.
“Rest assured na ang inyong lingkod ay hindi magpapabaya sa programang ito dahil malaking benepisyo ang naibibigay sa ating mga ARBs. P70 million ang pumunta noon sa Galintuja at Lublub. Siguro kung kalahati lang ang pupunta dito, gaganda na ang ating kaingin. Kaingin naman talaga ang aming means of livelihood. Walang maluluwang na patag para gawing bukid,” Mayor Pasigian said.
Because of the mountainous terrain, farmer of Lipuga and its neighboring barangay, Pelaway, practice the slash-and-burn method or kaingin method in cultivating their lands.
On the request of the Barangay officials to issue more certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) in their barangay, Tobias assured that they will coordinate and talk with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for the possibility of issuing individual titles.
Acording to Tobias, the Bugkalot tribe to whom the villagers belong, already has a Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) over the area.
If approved, the 65.9178 hectares will be an addition to the 670.2177 hectares in Alfonso Castañeda covered by the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP). The farmers’ validation was conducted on June 27, 2017. (Hazel P. Buctayon)
Photo 1: DAR Regional Director Homer P. Tobias (extreme right) together with local officials of Alfonso Castañeda headed by Mayor Jerry P. Pasigian, check on the lands to be titled in Alfonso Castañeda.
Photo 2: ARBs in Brgy. Lipuga earnestly pay attention to the discussions and messages presented during the program at the barangay gymnasium of Lipuga, Alfonso Castañeda.
Photo 3: The mountains of Lipuga and neighboring barangay Pelaway.
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