Alejandro S. Otacan, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) regional director, said the Certificates of Land Ownership covered 381.2565 hectares in Hacienda Teresa in Barangay Alicante in E.B. Magalona.
Mr. Otacan said it was so far the biggest land distribution this year.
He said the beneficiaries acquired the land within 14 months only, with the cooperation of the former hacienda owner, Arturo Ledesma.
"Since you are now the owners of the land, you are bound to fulfill your responsibilities that include the payment of amortization with the Land Bank of the Philippines for three years," he told the beneficiaries. Aside from paying the amortization, farmers should also pay the land tax, as failure to do so will mean disqualification from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, Mr. Otacan said.
He also reminded farmers not to convert their land to commercial use nor to lease nor sell it. Mr. Otacan said they intend to fast-track the distribution of lands covered before the end of the program in June this year.
DAR records show that in Negros Occidental, there are about 26,100 hectares yet to be distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries. Out of this total 14,600 hectares are in northern Negros Occidental.