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DAR to give out more lands in Oro village

sunstarlogoMORE lands will be available to peasants in Barangay Puerto after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-Northern Mindanao awarded close to more than 20 hectares to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp) beneficiaries in the village recently.

In a news article posted on its website, DAR-Northern Mindanao said it distributed certificates of land ownership awards (Cloas) to 21 members of the Upper Puerto Fight Carp Beneficiaries Association Inc. (UPFCBA).

DAR-Northern Mindanao senior agrarian reform program officer Sonny Paulin confirmed to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that the agency gave the Cloas to the members of the UPFCBA last December 12, 2014, making them the legal owners of the 23.8-hectare of arable land.

Paulin said the 23.8 hectares form part of the 143 hectares that DAR-Northern Mindanao will distribute to the landless peasants in Puerto.

“It was a long process but they (UPFCBA) complied with all the legal requirements,” he said, adding that the land, which was covered under the Carp, were issued titles and distributed to the beneficiaries.

“On process pa ang uban (the other lots are still on process) since they have different lot numbers,” Paulin added.

He said within the year, another portion of the contested property will be partitioned to the UPFCBA although it would take some time for the distribution.

The article also said that Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Zoraida Omar Macadindang led the joint farmers’ installation and Cloa distribution.

“The 23.8-hectare property [was] formerly owned by Oroville Development Corporation. The installation [of farmers] proceeded peacefully and was immediately followed by the awarding of land titles to our farmer beneficiaries,” Macadindang was quoted as saying.

During the installation, Macadindang reminded the beneficiaries of their “rights and obligations, and those of the landowner, as well, and that they should avoid to commit any violations per existing laws, rules and regulations.”

“Make your lands productive and pay your amortizations and taxes religiously. We are proud and happy that you are awarded with this land,” Macadindang said.

Former Puerto village councilor Perlito Vallejos, who used to work with the group in advocating for the release of their Cloas, was thankful the 25-year legal battle of the UPFCBA has finally ended.

“This is unexpected. I thought they would still have to suffer a few more years before acquiring the land they have been fighting to own for so long a time, but the awarding of the Cloas is a victory to the farmers,” Vallejos told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Wednesday.

“From the start, I have always believed that someday they would win in their struggle. I just didn’t know it was that soon,” he added.

It can be recalled the landless farmers were subjected to various threats and harassments while waiting for the decision from DAR. Some were even driven out from their dwellings.

As part of its support services to the farmer-beneficiaries, DAR also provided credit facilities, farm machinery and training program to increase the productivity of the acquired lands.

Although the support services that DAR has provided to UPFCBA are not sufficient due to limited resources, they will implement empowering mechanism by organizing and strengthening the group, he said.

Also, Paulin said DAR has assisted UPFCBA in registering it to the Cooperative Development Authority.

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/2015/02/12/dar-give-out-more-lands-oro-village-391647
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