Bro. John tells youth: ‘Take any four-year agri course, be an ARB’

Brother John leads the distribution of package of support services and land titles to the agrarian reform beneficiaries of Nueva Ecija.

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Brother John R. Castriciones is encouraging farmer-parents to convince their children and the youth to take four-year agricultural courses so that they can avail themselves of the maximum three hectares of farmlots being offered to fresh graduates under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Bro. John said 44 fresh four-year agricultural courses graduates from Palawan and Cagayan Valley had already been awarded with farmlots, which, he said, could serve as farm laboratories where they could apply their learnings.

“Each agriculture graduate is entitled to a maximum of three hectares of farmlot under CARP,” Bro. John said during the awarding ceremonies of 216 Certificates of Land Ownership Award to 200 beneficiaries at the Hotel Consuelo in Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija.

The DAR also gave away P9.31-million package of assistance to various representatives of agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) during the simple rites. These include financial assistance for two ARBOs, worth P1.81 million, two 40-horsepower tractors, worth P1.99 million, for another two ARBOs and 75 hauling tricycles, worth P5.51 million, for 75 clustered beneficiaries.

On December 4, 2020, Bro. John signed Administrative Order No. 3, which calls for the “awarding of agricultural lands to qualified graduates of four-year degrees in agriculture or related fields for their economic empowerment and the growth of the nation.”

The DAR chief stressed that he firmly believes that “he who takes agriculture course will embrace farming to heart.”

Bro. John referred to Section 40 (7) of the Republic Act 6657, also known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, as the basis of the said administrative order. It states that: “Graduates of agricultural schools who are landless shall be assisted by the government, through the DAR, in their desire to own and till agricultural lands.”

Bro. John said the past administrations might have overlooked the wisdom of the said provision, which could have hastened the development of the country’s agriculture industry had fresh agriculture graduates been included right from the very start when the program was implemented in June 1988.

The inclusion of fresh agriculture graduates among the CARP beneficiaries, Bro. John said, is also “one way of revitalizing the ageing farming sector where the average age of the farmers is pegged at 57.”

“The ageing of the Filipino farmers is a serious concern on the future of the nation in terms of its ability to ensure food security,” Bro. John said, quoting the introductory statement of the said administrative order.

Bro. John sa mga kabataan: ‘Mag-aral ng 4-taong kursong agrikultura, maging ARB’

HINIKAYAT ni Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John R. Castriciones ang mga magulang na kumbinsihin ang kanilang mga anak at iba pang mga kabataan na mag-aral ng apat na taong kurso ng agrikultura para maging benepisyaryo sa ilalim ng Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Sinabi ni Bro. John na 44 na bagong tapos ng apat na taong kurso ng agrikultura mula sa Palawan at Cagayan Valley ang biniyayaan ng lupang pansakahan na magsisilbing “farm laboratories” kung saan nila magagamit ang kanilang pinag-aralan.

“Ang bawat nagtapos ng kursong agrikultura ay may karapatang magmay-ari ng hindi hihigit sa tatlong ektaryang lupang pansakahan sa ilalim ng CARP,” ani Bro. John sa ginanap na seremonya kung saan 216 na Certificates of Land Ownership Award ang pinamahagi sa 200 agrarian reform beneficiaries. Sa Hotel Consuelo sa Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija.

Namigay din ang DAR ng P9.31-milyong bungkos na tulong sa mga kinatawan ng iba’t-ibang agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) sa nasabing seremonya. Kinabibilangan ito ng tulong-pananalapi para sa dalawang ARBOs na nagkakahalagang P1.81 milyon, dalawang 40-horsepower na traktora na nagkakahalaga ng P1.99 milyon para sa dalawang ARBOs at 75 hauling tricycles na nagkakahalaga ng P5.51 milyon para sa 75 clustered beneficiaries.

Noong ika-4 ng Disyembre 2020, pinirmahan ni Bro. John ang Administrative Order No. 3 na may direktibang “babahaginan ng lupang pansakahan ang mga kwalipikadong mga nagsipagtapos ng apat na taong kurso sa agrikultura o kahalintulad na kurso para sa kanilang economic empowerment at paglago ng bansa.

Ipinagdiinan ng hepe ng DAR na naniniwala siya na “sinumang kumuha ng kursong agrikultura ay yayakapin ang pagsasaka ng buong puso.”

Sinabi ni Bro. John na ang nasabing administrative order ay nakabatay sa Seksyon 40 (7) ng Republic Act 6657, kilala rin bilang Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law. Sinasabi dito na “ang mga nagsipagtapos sa mga eskuwelahang pang-agrikultura na walang lupa ay tutulungan ng pamahalaan, sa pamamagitan ng DAR, sa kanilang kagustuhang magkaroon ng sariling lupa na kanilang lilinangin.”

Sinabi ni Bro. John na marahil ay nakaligtaan ng mga nakaraang administrasyon ang nasabing probisyon, na maaari sanang nagpabilis ng pag-unlad ng agrikultura sa bansa, kung ang mga dating bagong nagsipagtapos ng kursong agrikultura ay naisali na sa umpisa pa lamang ng pagpapatupad ng repormang agraryo noong June 1988.

Ang pagsama ng mga bagong tapos ng kursong agrikultura bilang mga benepisyaryo ng CARP, ayon kay Bro. John, ay isang paraan para palakasin ang tumatandang sector ng pagsasaka kung saan ang pamantayang edad ng mga magsasaka ay pumapatak sa 57.

“Ang papatandang magsasakang Pilipino ay isang seryosong bagay para sa kinabukasan ng bansa kung pag-uusapan ang pagtitiyak ng seguridad sa pagkain,” ani Bro. John, habang sinasambit ang paunang pahayag ng nasabing administrative order.