(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Tuesday, 23 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Friday, July 7, 2023

2k+ farmers now landowners in Caraga

By Jennifer P. Gaitano

BUTUAN CITY – Some two thousand six hundred eighty-seven agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) received their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) and e-title from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Caraga, during the simultaneous and nationwide CLOA/e-title distribution on July 7, 2023 held at the Datu Lipus Makapandong Cultural Center in Patin-ay, Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur.

According to DAR Caraga, a total of 4,505 hectares that support the 2,890 land titles were distributed to the rightful 2,687 farmer beneficiaries coming from the five provinces of the region with the following breakdown: Agusan del Norte – 72 ARBs with 78 titles; Agusan del Sur – 1,007 ARBs with 1,159 titles; Province of Dinagat Islands – 142 ARBs with 156 titles; Surigao del Norte – 566 ARBs with 597 titles; and Surigao del Sur – 900 ARBs with 900 titles.  

Nita Mallo, one of the ARBs from the municipality of La Paz, Agusan del Sur, expressed her gratitude to DAR and the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for this initiative and for constantly looking after the welfare of the farmers.

“Dako akong pasalamat sa DAR pinaagi ni Secretary Conrado Estrella III, ug kay Presidente Bongbong Marcos, kay tungod sa iyaha nakadawat na kami sa among mga titulo sa amo usab gipanag-iyahan nga mga yuta (I’m thankful to DAR headed by Secretary Conrado Estrella III and to President Bongbong Marcos because of their effort to finally hand over to us the [CLOA] title),” she said.

Bernabe Laurel from the municipality of Loreto, Agusan del Sur, also excitedly shared that he is more motivated now to plant coconut trees and produce more crops for the hectares of land that is now titled under his name and entrusted to him by DAR.    

“Daghang salamat sa DAR ug kay President Bongbong Marcos ug salamat usab sa mga programa gikan sa gobyerno. Akong palambuon ang yuta nga tamnan nako’g lubi, basakan, ug uban pang pananom (Thank you to DAR and to President Bongbong Marcos, and thank you also for all the programs and [services] from the government. I will utilize well the land by planting more coconut trees and other crops),” shared Laurel.

As she delivered her message, DAR Caraga regional director Atty. Merlita Capinpuyan recognized the presence and support of the local officials in the region from the governors, city and municipal mayors, and punong barangays. She also reiterated that the various government agencies will continue to provide the beneficiaries with the necessary interventions because they need to expand and sustain their farm lands.

“Other government agencies will provide you with seedlings, fertilizers, farm inputs and machineries, among others. Capacity trainings will also be provided. So be good stewards of the land given to you by the government,” Dir. Capinpuyan said.

She further reminded the ARBs to regularly pay the taxes for their farm lands.  

Governor Nilo Demerey Jr. of the Province of Dinagat Islands highlighted that the government led by President Marcos has uplifted the lives of the farmers by condoning their loan interests and debts of the land, therefore they will no longer be burdened on the payment.

“This is a manifestation that our government is working its best in caring for the welfare of the farmers. It is clear that the P58 billion will be taken out from the government’s budget, so farmers will no longer have to pay their debts. With the president’s one-year of public service since election, he already gave the land titles to the qualified farmers and signed the Emancipation Act,” bared Gov. Demerey. 

Meanwhile, this is also the time for President Marcos to sign the New Agrarian Emancipation Act in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Hall in MalacaΓ±an Palace.

According to DAR, the new law condones a total of P57.56 billion of unpaid amortizations from the principal debt incurred by around 600,000 ARBs who cultivate the 1.173 million hectares of land across the country. 

The New Agrarian Emancipation Act is a fulfillment of the Chief Executive’s promise during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in 2022 where he urged the Congress to pass a law that will free Filipino farmers of the debt burden incurred from the land awarded to them under Presidential Decree No. 27, series 1972 and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The Department of Agrarian Reform is the lead government agency that holds and implements comprehensive and genuine agrarian reform which actualizes equitable land distribution, ownership, agricultural productivity, and tenurial security for, of and with the tillers of the land towards the improvement of their quality of life.

The following are the mandates of the Agency: a) To lead in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) through Land Tenure Improvement (LTI), Agrarian Justice and Coordinated delivery of essential Support Services to client beneficiaries; b) To provide Land Tenure security to landless farmers through land acquisition and distribution; leasehold arrangements’ implementation and other LTI services; c) To provide legal intervention to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBS) through adjudication of agrarian cases and agrarian legal assistance; and d) To implement, facilitate and coordinate the delivery of support services to ARBs through Social Infrastructure and Local Capability Building (SILCAB); Sustainable Agribusiness and Rural Enterprise Development (SARED); and Access Facilitation and Enhancement Services (AFAES). (JPG/PIA-Caraga)