A total of 1,067.5005 hectares of agricultural lands are about to be distributed to farmers from various towns in Dinagat Islands, the Department of Agrarian Reform in Caraga Region (DAR-Caraga) said.
DAR-Caraga Director Leomides R. Villareal told PNA that 766 farmers will receive their Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in a ceremony scheduled on Wednesday (Oct. 9) in San Jose town, Dinagat Islands.
DAR Secretary John Castriciones and other top officials of DAR are expected to attend the distribution of CLOAs, Villareal added.
Data provided by the DAR-Surigao del Norte Provincial Office indicates that the 1,067.5005 hectares of lands to be distributed will cover seven towns in the province, to include Libjo, Dinagat, San Jose, Cagdianao, Basilisa, Tubajon and Loreto.
Of the seven towns, the town of Libjo has the biggest area to be distributed on Wednesday comprising of 604.4122 hectares where 387 farmers will receive their land titles and in the municipality of Tubajon with 249.3078 hectares for 196 farmers.
Villareal said the activity in Dinagat Islands is among the series of land distribution activities that the DAR-Caraga Region spearheaded since the middle of last year.
Among the big land distribution activities that Villareal enumerated include the region-wide land distribution in November last year, the land distribution in Surigao del Sur early this year, and the Mindanao-wide CLOA distribution held in Davao City last month that was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte.
With the issuance of Executive Order 75 in February this year Villareal said DAR-Caraga will focus on distributing government lands that are suitable for agriculture.
The EO 75, signed by President Duterte on February 1, directs all departments, bureaus, offices, and instrumentalities of the government to identify lands owned by the government devoted to or suitable for agriculture for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.
Aside from CLOA distribution, identified Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in Dinagat Islands will also receive farm machinery during the activity.
DAR- Surigao del Norte Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer Maria Elizabeth de Guzman told PNA that the pieces of farm machinery include tractors, turtles locally known as bao-bao, and rice threshers.
As of press time, DAR-Surigao del Norte has not yet provided PNA with the total worth of the farm machinery that will be distributed to ARBOs.
De Guzman said the CLOA distribution on Wednesday is the biggest accomplishment of DAR-Surigao del Norte this year.
The province of Dinagat Islands has a total land area of 175,839.7 hectares of which, 96,745.85 hectares are considered agricultural.
Of the total agricultural lands in the province, 9,047 hectares are now covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, de Guzman said.
Local officials from Dinagat Islands, including Governor Arlene Bag-ao and Rep. Allan I B. Ecleo, are also expected to join the CLOA distribution. (PNA)