At least 548 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) from three Caraga Region provinces receive Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and SPLIT e-Titles from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Wednesday.
Some 396.6 hectares of CLOAs and 237.7 hectares of SPLIT e-titles were given to the ARBs for the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands held at the PhilRice Compound in Remedios T. Romualdez town, Agusan del Norte.
Present during the event were DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Kazel Celeste, DAR Undersecretary for Mindanao Affairs Amihilda Sangcopan, DAR-13 Regional Director Merlita Capinpuyan, and Agusan del Norte Gov. Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante.
Celeste delivered the message of DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III, who congratulated the ARBs for receiving their CLOAs.
She also assured the beneficiaries of the agency’s continuing support, noting that the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is prioritizing programs and services for the farmers.
Marcos signed Executive Order No. 4 on Sept. 13 last year declaring a moratorium on the payment of principal obligation and interest of amortization due and payable by the ARBs who received agricultural lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Celeste recalled that the DAR and the Land Bank of the Philippines signed a joint administrative order in September last year that provided the implementing rules and regulations for EO No. 4.
Among the ARBs who received his CLOA during the activity was Pepito Ampayo from Barangay Ambacan, Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte.
“I waited for 12 years and now my family and I are so happy because we are now the owners of the land that we till,” Ampayo, 72, said.
He said his family has been tilling the two-hectare land planted with corn and rubber in Barangay Ambacan for years.
Meanwhile, heavy equipment and machinery amounting to PHP24.4 million were also handed over to 10 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) during the event.
The 10 ARBOs, with a total of 1,465 ARB members, were from 10 barangays in nine towns and one city in the region.
Sebastian Bermudez, president of Agila-Puyo Farmer Irrigators Association in Barangay Magsaysay, Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, underscored the importance of the four-wheel drive tractor worth PHP1.9 million they received from the government.
“Our organization, with around 80 members, is thankful to President Marcos and the DAR for this machinery. This is a big help to our members,” he said. (PNA)