By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
April 23, 2018
SAN JULIAN, Eastern Samar – Three hundred twenty farmer-tillers from 11 Eastern Samar municipalities gathered at this town’s covered court on Monday, April 16, to receive their certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Karlo Bello handed the 350 individual CLOAs to the 320 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) as proof of ownership to the land they are tilling.
Bello, speaking in Cebuano, said to the ARBs, “you are now landowners. You are lucky because the land (covered by the CLOAs) is a government-owned land (GOL). You are not going to pay amortization.” But he stressed to them their obligation to pay taxes being the owners now of the land.
The CLOAs covered an aggregate area of 617.9 hectares of agricultural land situated in the municipalities of Lawaan (32.3 hectares), Balanggiga (19 hectares), Giporlos (27.7 hectares), Quinapondan (19.2 hectares), Salcedo (22.8 hectares), Dolores (33.8 hectares), Can-avid (18.7 hectares), Borongan (6.4 hectares), Maydolong (76.5 hectares), Balangkayan (3.9 hectares) and San Julian (357.2 hectares).
Regional Director Sheila Enciso advised the ARBs to take care of their awarded land because the DAR personnel risked their lives in covering these lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) so they could be distributed to them.
Brothers Geronimo and Tomas Batula Jr. from Maydolong, both received CLOAs, could not hide their happiness. According to them they had been waiting for their land titles for the past 10 years. They can’t believe that the document is already in their hands.
Spouses Argie and Maureen Osias from San Julian, brought with them their two children to celebrate the occasion. According to Argie, they derive income from the 2.5 hectares planted to rice and coconut that was awarded to them.
Remedios Guardiana from San Julian though thankful for finally receiving her CLOA, asked that they also be blessed with support services which is part of the implementation of CARP; while 89-year old Delfina Apita from Dolores was just silent but obviously happy with the sweet smile in her face.
DAR-Eastern Samar chief of the Legal Division Atty. Brian Lassiter reminded the ARBs during the said occasion of their obligations, responsibilities and prohibited acts as well as rights and privileges, emphasizing not to sell their awarded lands within 10 years.
Further, Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Gilberto Apilado encouraged them to join agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) to be able to avail of the various support services extended by DAR.
Meanwhile, Mayor Dennis Estaron thanked DAR not only for choosing this municipality to be the venue of this activity but for uplifting the quality of life of the farmers wherein San Julian has the most number of recipients.
Likewise, He thanked DAR for the rural infrastructure projects implemented in his municipality. This town has been a recipient of four farm-to-market roads and an agricultural warehouse, all implemented under the Agrarian Reform Communities Project (ARCP).