Antipolo City farmers rejoice as DAR distributes land ownership certificates

For Daniel Tomacas, the issuance of the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is akin to a long-awaited blessing from above. (MBIL/PIA-Rizal)

ANTIPOLO CITY (PIA) – Receiving the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR was nothing short of a blessing for Daniel Tomacas of Barangay San Luis, Antipolo City.

For 70 years, this 87-year-old farmer has worked the same plot of land to raise his 13 children.

Last March 14, he was among the 47 beneficiaries who received their CLOAs at the Tanay Gymnasium in Barangay Katipunan Bayani, Tanay, Rizal.

"I am really happy, first I thank God, for the strength to work. Now that the land has been given to us, we are very grateful," said Tomacas.

He added: "I didn't sleep last night because we were going here to get the title of the land. We are happy they granted it to us.”

Meanwhile, 28-year old Noemi Perez of Barangay San Luis has been assisting her father in farming their land for the past 20 years. To her, receiving the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) was not only a significant aid but also an inspiration.

''We have waited a long time for this, at this moment just to be given our CLOA or title that we hold with our names on it ... That's why we are thankful because finally the land title has been granted to us," Perez said, referring to the 24.6273-hectare parcel of land that was previously owned by the Philippine Guarantee Corporation.

Noemi Perez was presented with the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) by Atty. Kazel Celeste, the Undersecretary for the Field Operations Office, along with other officials from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). (MBIL/PIA-Rizal)

Following an extensive legal dispute that was resolved following the enactment of R.A. 6657, the land was eventually brought under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) coverage.

After the issuance of the Notice of Coverage (NOC) on December 10, 2012, and subsequent rejections of petitions seeking to lift the NOC, the Landbank of the Philippines proceeded to issue a Memorandum of Valuation. This paved the way for issuing and registering 80 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) in the names of 47 qualified Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries.

The distribution ceremony was led by Agrarian Reform Undersecretary Kazel Celeste along with other key officials from DAR CALABARZON and DAR Rizal.

In her message, Celeste reaffirmed DAR’s commitment to support Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) beyond the issuance of CLOAs, ensuring they receive the necessary support services.

"We at DAR know the importance of each ARB. The most important profession is farming, as farmers provide the essential needs of every Filipino, seven days a week, three times a day. Expect us to keep improving our services for our ARBs," said Usec. Celeste.

The allocation of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) corresponds with the strategies and initiatives set forth by Secretary Conrado Estrella III and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in line with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.'s thrust enhancing the well-being of Filipino farmers as part of the DAR’s advocacy, ‘Sariling Lupa para sa Bagong Bukas na Masagana,’ which aims to provide land to farmers for a prosperous future. (MBIL/PIA-Rizal)