DAR to distribute over 26K titles with signing of new law

By Marita Moaje

July 6, 2023, 7:08 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is set to simultaneously distribute a total of 26,177 land titles benefitting 32,441 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) all over the country.

DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, which is set to sign by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Friday (July 7), “is a huge step in achieving the President’s goal of food security for the country and giving importance to the farmers whom Filipinos depend on for their daily nourishment”.

“DAR will continue fulfilling the President’s mandate to distribute all available land to farmers and other qualified beneficiaries, clear the backlog of agrarian cases, promote support services including training on modern agricultural techniques, and access to credit facilities to realize the vision of Sariling Lupa Para sa Bagong Bukas na Masagana (own land for a better future) for farmers,” he added.

Of the total number of titles up for distribution, DAR said that 17,837 are electronic land titles (e-titles) under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) Project benefitting 16,526 ARBs covering 23,247.5232 hectares of land.

The rest are emancipation patents and certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) for 7,173 ARBs covering 7,378.38 hectares of agricultural land.

Meanwhile, the government will also assume the obligation of 10,201 ARBs tilling 11,531.24 hectares of land and pay the remaining balance of the direct compensation due the landowners under the Voluntary Land Transfer (VLT) or the Direct Payment Scheme (DPS) amounting to PHP206,247,776.

Estrella earlier noted in his report submitted to Malacañang that from July 2022 to June 2023, a total of 16,445 e-titles covering an area of 22,656 hectares benefiting a total of 15,481 ARBs, and a total of 23,009 EPs and CLOAs covering an area of 23,689 hectares benefiting 25,374 ARBs have been distributed by DAR under Project SPLIT.

The New Agrarian Emancipation Act is the fulfillment of the promise made by Marcos during his first State of the Nation Address last July 2022, where he asked Congress to pass the law condoning the debt burden incurred by farmers from land awarded to them under Presidential Decree No. 27, Republic Act 6657 and Republic Act 9700.

The law condones the amortization of principal payments, interest, and penalties on the land they are presently tilling, in what is considered the most significant piece of agrarian legislation passed since the country was declared an agrarian reform area by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. in October 1972 and will benefit 610,054 ARBs. (PNA)