BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental -- A total of 1,134 agrarian reform beneficiaries here exalted in joy Wednesday when each of them received their most-awaited certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs), plus a bonus of sort in the form of P26.85 million of credit assistance extended to their respective farmers’ organization.
Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Jerry Pacturan said that each of the new farmer-landowners got an average of 1.28 hectares of farmlot out of the total 1,453 hectares distributed during the awarding ceremonies held at the Bacolod Pavillon Resort Hotel here during the occasion of the 25thanniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Pacturan made the farmer-beneficiaries even more excited when he announced that the credit assistance is spiced with free insurance package to spare them of any financial obligations for damages that they may incur on their farms as a result of natural calamities.
He added that the insurance package is not only meant to safeguard the farmer-beneficiaries’ farms from the possible onslaught of pests and strong typhoons, but it also provides all members of the recipient agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) and their families P50,000 insurance coverage each in case of death or accident.
“Now that you have farmlots to till, easy access to credit and insurance protection for you and each member of your families, we, in the DAR, hope that you will make the most out of these blessings by maximizing the potential of your newly awarded farmlots,” Pacturan said during the elaborative ceremonies on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The P26.85-million credit assistance extended to the ARBOs in the province’s northern area is the latest form of support services being provided under the DAR’s “P1-billion Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP).” It was a sweet follow through to the P108-million provided to their southern counterparts last week.
Pacturan said the P1-billion APCP is in line with the Aquino administration’s effort to revitalize the country’s agriculture industry, and in response to strong clamor from CARP beneficiaries themselves to provide them easy access to credit assistance for farm inputs.
Farmer-beneficiary Rosalinda Ambino said she is doubly happy to finally receive her land title and to know of the credit assistance the government has provided to cater for their farming needs.
“This is truly a day to remember for us, farmer-beneficiaries, because of the great opportunities that these blessings have brought to us,” Ambino said in local dialect.
Observers said the APCP is a big boost to the country’s agriculture industry, which has made little progress due to lack of financial capital to support the farmers’ needs for farm inputs.
Dealing directly to the ARBOs, Pacturan said, is the new tack of the government in the delivery of support services under what it calls the Agrarian Reform Communities Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS).
“Our focus in ARCCESS is on developing the ARBOs into viable agribusiness entrepreneurs, whose success would have direct impact on the communities,” he said.
It is a big departure from the old Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) development program, which was oriented towards community-wide development, he added.