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New Agrarian law signed, thousands receive titles

By Keren Anne Bernadas

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr., made a significant move that will be etched in the history by enacting the New Agrarian Emancipation Law of 2023 or RA No. 11953 on Friday, July 7, at the Fuerte Sports Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur.

Over 1,172 Bicolano agrarian reform beneficiaries received 1,229 electronic land titles covering a sum of 1,977.3045 hectares of agricultural lands across the Bicol region.

This law strips off all unpaid amortization of long-time principal debts, interests, penalties on the land that t being cultivated by the said farmer-beneficiaries.

Regenerate response

Officials from the Land of the Philippines distribute eletronic land titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries in the Bicol region on July 7 at the Fuerte Sports Complex, Pili, Camarines Sur. Photo by Jam Madrid

DAR Bicol Regional Director Reuben Theodore C. Sindac, said the newly enacted agrarian law “is the fulfillment of the promised made by President Bongbong Marcos during his first state of the nation address last July 2022” as it will benefit 610,054 ARBs in the country who owe a total payable of P57.55 billion to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP).

He also considered this milestone as “the most significant piece of agrarian legislation passed since the whole country declared an agrarian reform area by the then President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in October 1972.”

The regionwide distribution, on the other hand, of individual land titles is aligned with the directive of Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III to expedite the subdivision of collective certificates of land ownership awards for around 1.3 million hectares of land throughout the country.

Albay received 289 e-titles (476.2019 ha); Camarines Sur was awarded with 249 (327.1351 ha); Sorsogon got 210 (353.1582 ha); Masbate, 141 (209.6602 ha); Camarines Norte, 136 (264.0873 ha); Camarines Sur II received 126 (264.0873 ha), and Catanduanes got 78 (83.7189 ha).

Given their owned farmland titles and having their agrarian-related debts condoned, the regional director said the farmers may now start with a clean slate where they can focus on improving their capital and production, enhancing land tenure security, and achieving economic growth.

“If they are free from all of their financial expenses and constraints, they [can now attend to] other priorities,” he said. However, he reminded the ARBS that they cannot sell their own lands as all lands awarded by the government cannot be sold. It can be transferred to their heirs for tilling to ensure sustainability and food security.

Salvador Solmiano Jr., a farmer from San Jose, Camarines Sur, in a ceremonial acceptance of his e-title expressed his utmost gratitude to President Marcos, after being personally promised a land of his own during the presidential visit here in the province, in March this year.

“Para sa amin, ang sertipikong ito ay hindi lamang sumisimbolo ng pagmamay-ari, bagkus ng dasal na tinugon ng pangarap na natupad ng buhay na binago ng bagong pag-asa at pangako ng maganda at masaganang bukas para sa aming pamilya at para sa bayan. (For us, this title is not only a symbol of ownership. Rather, it symbolizes an answered prayer that was fulfilled to a life changed with new hope and to a promise of a sustained and progressive future for our family, and our country),” Solmiano said. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)


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