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DAR NegOcc-South holds talk to end farmers’ protest

sunstarTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Negros Occidental-South recently held a dialogue with farmers from different local government units (LGUs) to address various issues and end the three-day protest rally at the agency’s compound at B.S. Aquino Drive, Bacolod City.

Several farmers groups rallied until Friday as part of the commemoration of the 29th Mendiola Massacre. They forcibly entered the DAR-South compound to show their dismay to the agency for allegedly ignoring their request for dialogue.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Lucrecia Taberna said in a press statement that some of the issues discussed during the dialogue were the “prolonged agony” of the farmers to own a parcel of land under the the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

Taberna said most of them appealed to expedite the distribution of land under their names specifically the landholdings situated in some barangays of Kabankalan City, Bago City, Binalbagan, La Castellana, and Himamaylan City owned by different landowners.

DAR, through its civil society organization (CSO) point person Domingo Gatmaitan, has assured the farmers that the agency is already doing its part to distribute the remaining lots which already have notices of coverage (NOC).

Gatmaitan told the farmers that what the DAR is doing are all centered on its mission to lead in the implementation of agrarian reform and sustainable rural development in the country through land tenure improvement.

He added that DAR is also working on providing integrated development services to landless farmers, farm workers, small landowners-cultivators, and the delivery of agrarian justice.

Other issues raised by participants such as request for survey were already addressed by the agency and now subject for implementation.

Taberna said both parties also agreed to conduct a regular dialogue in every district.

“This is to maintain the harmonious relationship of the department with its beneficiaries and to avoid further conduct of rallies and demonstrations by groups of farmers,” she added.

Leaders and farmer-members of Pawis Association, Negros Federation of Sugar Workers, and Kilusang Mambubukid ng Pilipinas attended the dialogue held at Ting-Ting’s Native Foods in Bacolod City.

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