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DAR Negros’ target short 25.9 percent

visayan dailyThe Department of Agrarian Reform in Negros Occidental is short by 25.95 percent of its targeted land distribution for the first six months of the year, Florentino Seladan, the agency’s WV assistant regional director, admitted yesterday.

Seladan, who spoke at the 26th Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program anniversary rites held at the Sugarland Hotel in Bacolod City, said the agency’s target land distribution in Negros Occidental for January to June this year, was 4,000 hectares. However, only 2,962 hectares or 74.05 percent was distributed to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, he said.

Of the 2,962 hectares, 1,453 hectares were distributed to ARBs in northern Negros Occidental while 1,509 hectares for southern Negros Occidental, also he said

Seladan added that, to be able to be at par with their target of land distribution this year, which is 8,000 hectares, they need the support of their partners, the Registry of Deeds, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Land Bank of the Philippines.

Quoting DAR Secretary Delos Reyes, Seladan challenged DAR employees to deliver well and not retreat or surrender.

Seladan also said that based on the physical magnitude, Negros Occidental’s accomplishment in land distribution is meager, compared to other areas in the Philippines. However, as far as distribution of private agricultural lands, Negros Occidental is on top.

On Monday, the budget distribution for the acquisition of land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with extension Reform ended although a bill had been passed before in Congress that seeks additional funds for the delivery of the remaining lands to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.

Seladan said they will continue to distribute lands because there is a budget allocated for it before June 30.

DAR records also show that about 61,000 hectares of land under CARPER in southern Negros Occidental are yet to be distributed while there are 66,000 hectares in northern Negros Occidental but Seladan said survey works and the identification of the real agrarian reform beneficiaries are among the impediments for the distribution of all the remaining lands.

CLOA DISTRIBUTED

Yesterday, DAR distributed certificates of Land Ownership to 319 ARBs covering 337.499 hectares from four cities and five towns at the Sugarland hotel.

The ARBs are from the cities of Bago, Himamaylan, Kabankalan and La Carlota and the towns of Moises Padilla, Ilog, Binalbagan, Cuayan and Hinigaran.

Of the 319, there were 135 land titles acquired through voluntary offer to sell, 16 through compulsory acquisition and the rest through operational land transfer.

Aside from the distribution of CLOAs, DAR scholars who graduated with honors were also recognized yesterday.

‘WE WILL CONTINUE’

Meanwhile, OIC-PARPO II Teresita Mabunay, said that despite the hardships and the challenges, they have to continue the CARP implementation, especially on the landholdings that they have already issued with notices of coverage.

“We have been criticized for being slow in our implementation, since we still have thousands of hectares of lands to acquire and distribute, however, in my personal opinion, and reviewing our history, 26 years is too short compared to almost four centuries of the Filipino peasants’ struggle for land ownership,” Mabunay said.*APN

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