By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
June 4, 2018
CATARMAN, Northern Samar – Two hundred twenty-six landless farmers from three Northern Samar towns turned landowners as they received certificates of landownership award (CLOAs) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on May 24.
DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Karlo Bello handed the 226 individual CLOAs to the same number of farmer beneficiaries at the University of Eastern Philippines (UEP) gymnatorium.
The CLOAs covered an aggregate area of more than 435 hectares of both private and government-owned lands situated in the towns of Catarman, Bobon and Lope de Vega.
Bello in his message disclosed that he issued a memorandum directing DAR field offices to review its scope and look for more private and government owned lands that could still be covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program’s (CARP’s) land distribution component per instruction from the president.
According to Bello, President Duterte is looking into the possibility of extending this program of the government so that more landless farmers could still benefit from it.
Meanwhile, Regional Director Atty. Sheila Enciso reminded the CLOA recipients of their obligation to pay the real property tax for they are the landowners now, and to pay the amortization for the beneficiaries of compensable lands.
Further, she encouraged the beneficiaries to join agrarian reform beneficiary organization (ARBO) in their area to be able to avail of the various support services extended under CARP.
Likewise, Governor Jose Ong, who graced the occasion, assured the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of the support from the provincial government for it has also programs for the farmers, he stressed.
Due to excitement, couple Joel and Enelita Miano who are both CLOA recipients from Bobon were already at the venue as early as 10 o’clock in the morning though the distribution rite was to start at one o’clock in the afternoon, while Estela Bedeo, 79, thanked DAR for she was able to receive a title to the land she had been tilling for years. According to her, she was happy that they were deprived from paying the processing of the title, but stressed that she will pay the amortization and the real property tax.
Dolores Dato, of the Legal Division, explained to the ARBs their rights and obligations as well as prohibited acts emphasizing not to sell their awarded lands within 10 years.
In closing the program, DAR provincial chief Nida Abelido left a strong and clear message to the ARBs. She said “wag ninyo ibebenta ang lupa dahil ang pera pagdating ng panahon medaling maubos. Ngunit ang lupa ay magpapasalin-salin sa ating mga apo at anak na magbibigay ng pera. Bungkalin ninyo ang lupa. Pagyamanin ninyo para madami kayong ani na kikita at gaganda ang buhay.”