DAR sets record in awarding land titles since 1972

By Christine Cudis

February 13, 2019, 6:06 pm

<p>Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones (left) in a press briefing in Quezon City. <em>(PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)</em></p>

Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones (left) in a press briefing in Quezon City. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)


MANILA -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Wednesday said it has set an all-time high record of 60,000 hectares of land distributed with Certificate of Land Ownership Award in 2018, exceeding their projected target by 20,000 hectares more.

“I was informed by no less than (DAR Field Operations Office Undersecretary Karlo Bello) that this appears to be the highest CLOA distribution ever made in the history of Agrarian Reform Program since 1972," DAR Secretary John Castriciones said in a press briefing.

The 60,000 hectares of land were given to 41,780 agrarian reform beneficiaries from around the country in 2018.

This includes a total of 1,740.34 hectares of land distributed to 780 farmer beneficiaries from the Maguindanao towns of Ampatuan, Buluan, Datu Abdullah Sangki, Datu Anggal Midtimbang, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Paglas, Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, Mamasapano, Mangudadatu, Rajah Buayan, Sultan Kudarat, Sultan sa Barongis, Talayan, Talitay and Upi.

"This is very significant because the president attended the distribution of land to our Muslim brothers in ARMM," Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement Director Engr. Leandro Caymo said during a presentation.

DAR has also lined-up their CLOA distributions for this year, which will kick off at Sagay in Negros on February 22.

Some 802 hectares will be awarded to 750 beneficiaries, and another 159 hectares for 314 beneficiaries to other areas.

Sagay is highly controversial because of the death of nine sugar workers in 2018.

Castriciones added that of the 172 hectares of land that will be awarded to farmers in Nueva Ecija, portions of it include those of Hacienda Luisita.

“Pinakahuli na portion ng Hacienda Luisita na hindi pa naipapamigay in Brgy. Bantod, Tarlac po ito under the Supreme Court (It is the last portion of land that will be given to farmers in Hacienda Luisita in Brgy. Bantod, Tarlac). This just proves that the land reform program is very effective in the distribution of lands,” Castriciones said.

“It is joyful to see the farmers acquire what they deserve, it gives them a sense of fulfillment. That’s what we want to see in DAR, that’s why we do our jobs” he added. (PNA)