ANILAO, Iloilo – The Department of Agrarian Reform and the Local Government Unit of Anilao distribute P2.8 million worth of farm machinery and equipment, under the Sustainability and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARC) Project, to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in the Municipality of Anilao on October 11, 2023.

The farm machinery and equipment include 1 unit of 90 HP 4WD tractor turned over to the Hacienda Rica ARBs Organization and 1 unit of hand tractor with trailer and rice thresher turned over to the Palaypay ARB Association.

The distribution of common service facilities was held during the municipality’s celebration of Farmers and Fisherfolks Week 2023. This activity was led by Mayor Nathalie Ann F. Debuque and was joined by the Assistant Regional Director of DAR Western Visayas, Lucrecia S. Taberna, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II, Harriet A. Loot, Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Flocerfina E. Ervite, SARPO Antonio Z. Mocero, Jr., and SARPO Ma. Arni B. Sumaylo

During the turn-over of FMEs, Mayor Nathalie Ann F. Debuque thanked the Department of Agrarian Reform’s contribution to the farmers of Anilao, saying, “I am deeply grateful for the farm equipment you provided, because this generous and thoughtful contribution will undoubtedly go a long way in helping us improve our agricultural productivity and enhance our livelihood.”

“Your department's commitment to supporting farmers and rural communities has not gone unnoticed, which is why today, as we celebrate Farmers and Fisherfolks Week 2023, we will also distribute farm machinery and equipment so that other farmers and fishermen can see the help provided by the department of agrarian reform in our town,” Mayor Debuque adds.

Meanwhile, Assistant Regional Director Lucrecia S. Taberna emphasized the vital role of the farmers, especially the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries, in contributing to the nation’s food supply and ensuring food security. “We can ensure food security through our agrarian reform beneficiaries and agrarian reform beneficiary organizations. It is also the hope of DAR to increase the production and yield of crops and increase the farmer’s income, especially the women [in farming communities], and we need to employ a more sustainable and resilient approach to negate the challenges along the way.” Finally, ARD Taberna encouraged the ARBO recipients that their associations be converted to farmers’ cooperatives to access sufficient support services provided by the government.

On a relative note, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II Harriet A. Loot also encouraged other farmers that are not yet members of any ARB organizations in the locality, “In our programs being implemented, our mission and vision are directed towards the improvement and enhancement of the quality of life of the farmers. Our office is focused on agrarian reform communities and organizations, which is why I invite and encourage everyone to become members of any ARB organization in their area to avail themselves of the various support services of the government.”

In a message, Lixie Donguila, president of the Hacienda Rica ARBs Organization, expressed her gratitude to DAR, saying, “We are grateful to DAR for giving us the tractor; it is a great help to our association because it will reduce our farming expenses if compared to renting farm equipment. Aside from this, with the farm machinery given to us, we can gain income.”

Member of Hacienda Rica ARBs Organization and Palaypay ARB Association were thankful to Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III, Usec. Jesry T. Palmares, and Regional Director, Atty. Shiela B. Enciso for the implementation of SuRe ARC projects in the municipality of Anilao.

The Sustainable and Resilient Agrarian Reform Communities (SuRe ARC) project is a program initiated by the Department of Agrarian Reform with the overarching objective of promoting sustainable development and resilience in agrarian reform communities. It aims to empower farmers and rural communities and reduce poverty. This involves various initiatives and strategies aimed at improving the socio-economic conditions of farmers and rural communities that have been beneficiaries of land redistribution.