NEW LANDOWNERS. Farmers in southern Cebu receive their Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in a recent distribution activity. DAR-Cebu agrarian reform program officer Grace Fua said Thursday (Jan. 26, 2023) a total of 400 farmers in Catmon town, north of Cebu province, received 326 CLOAs from the department. (Photo courtesy of DAR)

CEBU CITY – A total of 400 farmers were added to the list of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) in Cebu province who received land titles from the national government, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Thursday.

Grace Fua, DAR-Cebu agrarian reform program officer, said the recent recipients of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) came from Barangay Binongkalan in Catmon, a town north of the province.

They received 326 CLOAs covering 157.28 hectares of agricultural land.

A few of them share one CLOA, but the DAR said it is now working on the "parcelization" so they could have individual titles.

Fua expressed hope that with the new farm lots and assistance from the DAR and other government agencies, the farmers would be able to advance their agricultural production, which could also improve their economic lives.

“Apart from helping them make their lands productive, the DAR also reminds them from time to time of their obligations, like paying their taxes to confirm ownership over the land,” she said.

Fua noted that the distribution of land titles is in line with the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., through DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III, to expedite the distribution of agrarian lands to deserving beneficiaries.

Maryln Pelonio, secretary of the Asosasyon sa mga Benepisyaryo sa Programang Agraryo sa Binongkalan in Catmon, thanked the DAR for providing them with land titles.

“We now have the full right to call these properties ours. We promise DAR that we will take care of these lands and make them more productive,” she said.

The 400 ARBs are on top of the 33 farmers from three southern Cebu towns who also received their CLOAs in January alone.

At least 33 farmers from Barili, Badian, and Argao received a total of 26.53 hectares of farmland from DAR.

Eleven ARBs from Badian received a total of 12.68 hectares; 14 ARBs from Badian got 7.27 hectares; and eight ARBs from Argao acquired 6.58 hectares. (PNA)