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Duterte wants govt lands be made availabe for distribution – DAR

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President Rodrigo Duterte wants individual land titles to be issued to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) instead of Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs), “which limit the individual farmer’s options to use his land.”

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones said this on Tuesday as he spoke before some 2,000 farmer-beneficiaries during the ARBs Convention and Grand Caravan held here as part of the 30th Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program anniversary celebration.

He represented the Chief Executive, who was supposed to attend the event in Solano and Bayombong towns in Nueva Vizcaya but had to attend to other matters.

“At the Cabinet meeting last night, the President said even government-owned lands could be subjected to land distribution once the agency in charge of the subject land area agrees to turn over the same to the government,” he said in a news briefing after the Agrarian Reform Beneficiary regional convention in Solano town.

“We are moving to the second phase of agrarian reform, one that will transform our agrarian reform beneficiaries into bankable entrepreneurs,” with the second package of programs being offered by the government, he also said.

DAR Regional Director Marjorie Ayson said Secretary Castriciones mobilized the agency officials for the ARB Convention and Grand Caravan.

She noted that at least 1,157 farmers have been awarded CLOAs for 2,044-hectare farms in Cagayan Valley.

Castriciones also led the launching of a lending program for farmers, a tie-up between the DAR and Land Bank of the Philippines, as well as the turnover of PHP57-million farm implements – such as automatic harvesters and large tractors; and launching of other programs, such as the anti-poverty program for Quirino Province and three bridge projects under the Tulay ng Pangulo program. (PNA)