DAVAO CITY – After seven long years of legal battle, six Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) are now certified owners of the lands they till as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) awarded to them their respective certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) in a ceremony facilitated last March 6.
The six ARBs were tenants of the Alberto M. Soriano (AMS) Property located in Wines, Baguio District Davao City.
The property, with an area of 3.4406 hectares, was covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) through Compulsory Acquisition scheme.
“This land is already subdivided among the 6 ARBs, hence they can already request for individual tax declaration, pay land taxes and land amortization,” said Leopoldo Garciano, the Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer (MARPO) in the area.
Garciano was joined by Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Terso D. Gregorio, Sr. during the distribution program.
In his message, Gregorio reminded the ARBs of the directive of DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones to protect the CLOAs.
Even with the prohibitory period of 10 years, PARPO Gregorio expressed hopes that the lands should not be sold or conveyed except through hereditary succession.
He pointed out that the present DAR chief wants to look into the illegal conversion of agricultural lands as he recently directed the MARPOs to monitor the converted lands whether they are land reform areas.
“Though the department is not anti-development all efforts should be exerted towards protection of the CLOAS through the provision of support services to the ARBs” he said.
Regional Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer (CARPO) Jupiter S. Arandela, Jr. relayed the message of DAR Region 11 Director Joseph Orilla to make the lands as a means to improve their quality of life.
He also asked the farmers to pay the land amortization with the Land Bank of the Philippines and land taxes to the local government.
CARPO for Program Beneficiaries Development (PBD) Ruel D. Larosa also urged the farmers to join associations or cooperatives in nearby areas to benefit the various programs of DAR.
The ARBs expressed gratitude to DAR XI officials headed by Director Orilla and to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the realization of their dreams of becoming landowners.
The CLOA distribution and installation of ARBs was also witnessed by other top regional and provincial officials of DAR and representatives from the city government of Davao.
DAR Davao City has already distributed 20,548 hectares to qualified 17,370 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries since the implementation of CARP. (Fraulein G. Montañez, PIO, DAR-Davao City)
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