Over 400 Albay farmers get land ownership titles from DAR
By Sally A. Altea
LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed land titles to 413 beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program in Albay province during a ceremony in Ligao City.
The DAR provincial office said the farmers received a total of 595.6520 hectares of land.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Maria Eugenia Alteza and Ligao City Mayor Fernando Gonzales handed over the individual titles to the farmers, more than 10 years after the latter formed themselves into an Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organization (ARBO) and received a “collective certificate of land ownership award” (CCLOA).
Alteza assured support services to the farmers to help them maximize the productivity of their land.
“DAR is not just giving lands. We also give support services such as facilities and technical assistance to make the lands more productive or to capacitate our farmers on how to engage in agriculture business using their farm products,” she said during the December 12 ceremony, which had as its theme “Lupang Sinasaka Ngayon Ay Akin Na.”
For his part, Gonzales pledged to provide the assistance needed to make the land more productive.
“The government will always be at your back because our job does not end here with distributing these titles. We will do our best to provide you with water, fertilizer, and even financial and technical assistance so you can properly cultivate your land and make it more productive,” he said.
“The local government, in collaboration with the DAR and all other government agencies, will continue its endeavor of bringing the needed support services for the economic upliftment of the farmers,” Gonzales added.
From 1992 to 1998, the DAR distributed large tracts of land to farmer organizations and cooperatives through CCLOAs rather than to individual land tillers and farm workers.
With the “Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling” (SPLIT) project, five million hectares of land are targeted for distribution to almost three million ARBs across the country, DAR said.
SPLIT aims to subdivide the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards into smaller farm lots, granting ARBO members full ownership and possession of their land shares.
This will improve their land tenure security and strengthen their property rights, allowing them to invest in their land and gain access to credit and other land market opportunities. (PIA5/Albay)