The consultation was attended by 400 farmers from Western Batangas and facilitated by Samahan ng Magbubukid sa Batangas (SamBat).
Mariano emphasized that the DAR will be implementing a genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization programs for the next five years.
“We are currently conducting discussions on the important principles of genuine agrarian reform, its laws and provisions to enable the department to distribute land for free or at very least cost for our farmers”, Mariano said.
The DAR will also re-activate the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) as an intermediary between the farmers and the DAR so that their concerns will be immediately entertained and solved at their levels.
During the consultation, different land issues and concerns were raised by the farmers residing in Hda.Puyat, Hda.Roxas, Hda.Agoncilo, Hda.Banilad, Hda.Ascue, Hda. Looc, land of Leviste, Enrile, Garcia, Macalalad and other agricultural lands in Western Batangas.
Mariano, together with Regional Director Engr. Rodolfo Pangilinan and DARPO Batangas officials answered all of the land issues and concerns raised by the farmers and urged them to fight for their rights on the lands they are tilling and be one in aiming for a genuine agrarian reform.
“The primary mechanism for the peasantry is to fight for his right and have an organized strength, unity and unwavering determination to defend their rights for their lands,” Mariano added.