DAR Bicol Officer-in-Charge Regional Director Rodrigo Realubit (PNA file photo)

LEGAZPI CITY – A total of 97 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Masbate province, under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project, have recently received their electronic land titles(e-titles).

In a statement on Friday, DAR Bicol Officer-in-Charge regional head Rodrigo Realubit said e-titles give the farmer-beneficiaries complete control of the land they till.

"Land titles distributed to farmer beneficiaries open the door to promising opportunities and brighter hopes for improving their quality of life. On the part of local government units (LGUs), they will also benefit from DAR’s land distribution program. Once a farmer has an individual title, he is obligated to file a tax declaration for the land tax payment," Realubit said.

Under the SPLIT project, the DAR divides the awarded lands covered by a collective certificate of land ownership award (CCLOA) and gives agrarian reform beneficiaries individual e-titles.

The distributed lands totaled 202.8238 hectares of farmland in Aroroy, Cataingan, Cawayan, Mandaon, Uson, Milagros, San Pascual, and Claveria.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Herald Tambal said the collaboration and strong partnership between the DAR and the Registry of Deeds in Masbate led to the success of the distribution.

Tambal said since January, the province has registered 278 e-titles totaling 513.7288 hectares, with 220.3129 hectares awarded to 128 farmer-beneficiaries in May of this year.

"From 2021 to 2022, Masbate targets subdividing a total of 475 CCLOAs or 9,576,4880 hectares of land. Over 6,256 hectares of which have already been validated and are preparing the necessary documents for the generation and distribution of individual e-titles to the beneficiaries by 2022 or early next year," he added.

"When we see our name on the land title, we know that it is legally and completely ours. To God be the glory, the DAR blessed me with this piece of land," farmer Joaquin Burga, Jr., said after receiving his e-title on Thursday.

Around 51 farmers from Cawayan town received their first tax declarations from Masbate's provincial assessor.

Renato Dumangas, another farmer-recipient, said he was especially happy after receiving the title, as he had been waiting for this title for almost 49 years now. (PNA)