SUPPORT TO FARMERS. A total of 563 agrarian reform beneficiaries from the different towns in Agusan del Sur receive their respective certificates of land ownership award in a ceremony in Trento, Agusan del Sur on Friday (Feb 3, 2023). Agrarian reform beneficiary organizations also received PHP11.5 million worth of projects during the event. (Photo courtesy of DAR-Agusan del Sur)

BUTUAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Agusan del Sur handed over certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to 563 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in a ceremony in Trento, Agusan del Sur on Friday.

The office also turned over a total of PHP11,550,000 worth of projects to agrarian reform beneficiary organizations (ARBOs) during the event, DAR-Agusan del Sur Director Jamil Amatonding, who is concurrent Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer, said in an interview on Saturday.

“The projects include PHP6.02 million worth of concreted farm-to-market road (FMR) in Poblacion Trento that connected the rice processing complex of our ARBs and ARBOs to the national highway,” Amatonding said.

He noted that the 0.6-km. FMR was funded under the Project ConVERGE of the DAR.

Project ConVERGE stands for Convergence on Value Chain Enhancement for Rural Growth and Empowerment.

About 400 ARBs who avail of the services of the rice processing center in the town will directly benefit from the FMR.

“The government, through the DAR, under the leadership of Secretary Conrado Estrella III, under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., gives priority to the farmers who provide the food that we need. Our farmers are at the forefront in the efforts to ensure food security and sufficiency in the country,” Amatonding said.

During the event, 15 ARBOs from four towns in the province also received various farm equipment, composed of a farm tractor, a combined harvester, and farm inputs, all worth PHP4.44 million, and a forklift worth PHP1.09 million.

The Lumad sa Agdawan Multi-Purpose Farmers’ Cooperative (Lampufaco) from the town of La Paz received a rice and corn combined harvester worth PHP2.04 million.

Lampufaco chairperson Ronel Laspinas was thankful to the government for the support they received.

“Thank you, DAR, for the continued support to the ARBs and to the farmers. This equipment will help us, especially during harvests,” Laspinas said.

The turnover ceremony was attended by DAR Undersecretary Kazel Celeste of the Field Operations Office, Undersecretary Amihilda Sangcopan of the Mindanao Affairs Office, Undersecretary Milagros Cristobal of the Support Services Office, and DAR 13 (Caraga) Director Merlita Capinpuyan.

“DAR Secretary Estrella III always tells us to bring the government services, especially of the DAR, to the people,” Celeste said in her message before the distribution of the CLOAs.

The DAR’s mandate, she said, does not end in CLOA distribution as the agency continues to provide various support services to the ARBs.

The department will bring more support services “so that the ARBs will truly feel the presence of the DAR and the government,” Celeste added. (PNA)