LANDOWNERS. Some 175 farmers in the province of Aklan are now legitimate landowners after receiving their electronic land titles from Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III. Other farm support machinery and equipment were also distributed by DAR to ensure the ARBs' success.  (Photo courtesy of DAR) 

MANILA – Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado Estrella III has vowed to continue to empower agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) by providing them with all the necessary support services needed to ensure their success.

This as he distributed electronic land titles (e-titles) to some 175 farmer beneficiaries in Aklan province.

In a press release on Thursday, Estrella said providing farmers with the necessary support services will make the country attain food self-sufficiency.

Emelda Zonio, an ARB from Guadalupe, Libacao town committed to continuously cultivating the land that she now owns, making it more productive.

Ang isang pirasong papel na ito ay nagpapa-alaala sa akin ng aking mga magulang na dati nang nagbubungkal sa lupaing ito. Ang patunay ng pagmamay-ari na ito ay magbibigay ng maraming oportunidad para sa aming pamilya (This piece of paper reminded me of my parents who were previously tilling this land. This proof of ownership will provide many opportunities for our family,” Zonio said.

Estrella distributed 183 e-titles comprising a total of 304.9723 hectares of agricultural lands in Aklan under the DAR’s Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) Project.

DAR Western Visayas Regional Director Sheila Enciso said the e-titles distributed on Feb. 16 are located in the towns of Altavas, Buruanga, Ibajay, Libacao, Madalag, and Malay.

“The ARBs' long wait will be paid off as they can soon fully enjoy the fruits of their hard work by making their lands productive,” Enciso said.

Meanwhile, aside from the distribution of land titles, the DAR also turned over a PHP8.4 million double-lane modular steel bridge under the Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP) project.

Farm machinery and equipment (FME) worth PHP275,850 were also given to selected ARB organizations (ARBOs) in the second district of Aklan.

The groundbreaking of the PHP50 million farm-to-market roads benefiting around 20,000 farmers in the province was also held. (PNA)