Forty-nine (49) farmers in Bautista, Pangasinan recently took oath as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) at the Municipal Trial Court in Villasis, Pangasinan.
The farmers signed an undertaking and took oath to signify that they have qualified to become Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries of the Department of the Agrarian Reform (DAR).
DAR-Ilocos Regional Director Primo Lara said the farmers were found to possess all qualifications to be beneficiaries after going through several routinary screening processes and field validations.
“As ARBs, they will now enjoy the privileges of legally owning the land they have been tilling for so long,” Lara said.
Lara said the swearing-in activity is being done to ensure their compliance with all agrarian laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to the productivity of the land and their obligation on the payment of the amortization and the real property tax.
According to DAR Assistant Regional Director Maria Anna Francisco the oath-takers are the farmers of 93.6-hectare landholding formerly owned by Juan L. Tiongson located in Bautista, Villanueva-Poponto.
“This oath-taking ceremony is the start of fulfilling your dreams. We hope that you may never forget the responsibility that comes with it,” Francisco said to the farmers.
Farmers took their oath as qualified farmer-beneficiaries before Judge Junius Fernandez Dalaten of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 50 in Villasis, Pangasinan.
Judge Dalaten waived the farmers’ notarial fees.
The Judge stated to the farmers the importance of the Oathtaking Ceremony in relation to their roles as ARBs. He reminded the farmers about their duties and responsibilities as new landowners, such as paying their land amortizations and land taxes.
He also emphasized that engaging in illegal activities like not paying their dues, illegal transfer of land ownership, illegal conversion, sale, and lease of lands can be grounds for their disqualification.