The Municipality of Calabanga under the supervision of OIC- MARO Jennifer Garcia conducted its very first oath taking ceremony for the more or less 58 farmer-beneficiaries.
The property to be divided totals 152 hectares. The landownersincluding Ladislao Perez, NorbertaSambo and Benigno Limoffered it under the VOS scheme.The ceremony took place in the municipal office of DAR CalabangaCamarines Sur. Judge Ma. Christine Imperial-Bernarte, led the Ceremony. OIC-PARPO Ramon B. Fuentebella of DAR Camarines Sur and OIC-CARPO Ricardo Garcia of Camarines Sur I each gave their message to both the beneficiaries and landowners.
Fuentebella,in his message expressed his sincere gratitude to the Landowners for supporting CARP. He said that the nature of undertaking Land Distribution is complicated and difficult. To the farmer-beneficiaries he said that the award of land carries with it certain responsibilities: 1). To make the land productive 2). To pay the amortization with Land Bank of the Philippines and 3). To pay taxes to government. He also congratulated MARO Jennifer Garcia and the assembled staff for this accomplishment.“These accomplishments are the true gift of our work” he said.
Likewise, the Municipal Assessor informed them thatthe government offers a 20% discount for every prompt payment of their taxes and encouraged them to observe this rather than be burdened of a 7% additional penalty for every late payment.
The former Landowner, Mr. Benigno Lim in his short message, said: “It pains our family to part with our land especially when we think of the good timeswe had in it. But it is for good reason that we offered our land to the government. We know you have hopes and dreams and we also wanted to see you prosper and have a better life”. He also advised them to prioritize the use of their money. “Instead of going for a drink, you shouldthink of better things your money can buy.Follow your dreams…as we are resigned to our fate. All I ask is for each of you as new landowners to take care of the land well and make it productive the way we nurtured it”.
Another Landowner shared that she hopes that their good relationship with the farmer-beneficiaries, who are now all landowners, would continue. She desires to continue her friendship with them and that everyone accepts her as a friend and no longer as a landlord that she was.
OIC-CARPO Ricardo Garcia of CamarinesSur I, who was once a MARO of DARMO Calabanga and a development facilitator before then, shared that it is not easy to work in DAR. He said it was backbreaking and tedious going to and from Barangay Burabod where the land lies, as it was way too far from the town proper. Speaking to the Landowners he said that government’s sincerity in being fair and just is exemplified in the current Land Valuation which went from P8 thousand per hectare before to a staggering P120 thousand per hectare now. To the farmers he said: “you are very lucky to be awarded land, to be chosen to be among the many that do not have. Your dreams of owning it one day is now a reality, take care of it well”.
Judge Christine Imperial-Bernabe a former DAR employee, and the incumbent Trial Judge in the municipality of Calabanga, imparted a few words informing them of the significance of the ceremony.“We will take oath before the Landowners and the Officials of DAR who worked hard for this. Take it all to heart and honor every word you say.”
After 25 years of painstaking efforts of DAR field personnel in documenting the property, the once piped dream of giving land to the landless became a reality.