By Jonathan L. Mayuga, February 15 2019; Business Mirror

Image Credit to Business Mirror

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has lined up a series of certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) distribution, as it steps up the processing of land-distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The DAR’s latest thrust is consistent with President Duterte’s directive to fast- track the distribution of the remaining land to landless farmers under CARP, DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones said.

He noted that Duterte has been actively participating in the land-distributiona activities of the DAR since he took his oath as the highest official of the land.

“No less than the President will lead in some of these scheduled CLOA distributions,” he told reporters at a recent news conference in Quezon City.

Castriciones reiterated that Duterte remains committed to implement the CARP Extension with Reform (CARPer) by distributing the remaining land acquisition and distribution (LAD) balance he inherited from the previous administration, and implement the second phase of agrarian reform starting with the distribution of more public agricultural lands assigned to various government agencies.

Last year, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Karlo S. Bello reported that the DAR has distributed CLOAs for 60,777 hectares of land to a total of 41,287 CARP-beneficiaries.

“As per Undersecretary Bello, this appears to be the highest CLOA distribution in the history of the DAR,” Castriciones said.

Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement Director Leandro Caymo reported that last year, the CLOA distribution of some 41,077 hectares to 31,132 farmers.

“We would like to continue the distribution to demonstrate the current DAR leadership to continue the program. On February 11, there was a CLOA distribution in Mindanao. This is very significant because this was the first time that a President attended a CLOA distribution in Mindanao,” the DAR chief said.

The CLOAs were for a total of 1,740 hectares, which were distributed to a total of 780 CARP beneficiaries.

On February 22, there will be CLOA distribution in Sagay, Negros Occidental, covering CLOAs for 802 hectares to 715 CARP-beneficiaries.

According to Castriciones, the distribution in Sagay is important, noting the death of nine farmers who were killed in Sagay recently.

Next, Caymo said there will be CLOA distribution activities Davao City for 5,055 hectares of land to some 2,525 CARP beneficiaries tentatively scheduled on March 16.

After that, in Nueva Ecija, the DAR will distribute CLOAs covering a total of 472 hectares of land to 546 farmers. Part of the lands to be distributed will come from Hacienda Luisita landholding, Bello said.

Last, CLOAs for a total of 30,000 hectares from all provinces in Region 12 will be distributed to some 10,000 CARP beneficiaries.

Part of the lands covered by the CLOAs belongs to the University of Southern Mindanao and Cotabato Foundation College of Science and Technology. The CLOAs cover 4,618 hectares of land to be distributed to 2,730 CARP beneficiaries.

According to Caymo, the DAR has already reduced the number of days for the processing of CLOAs. Under the current setup, it would only take the DAR about 30 days to process the CLOA granted that that the subject lands are not “problematic.”

Caymo said individual CLOAs will be distributed by the DAR during these activities.