LINGAYEN — Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) covering 700 hectares of land were distributed to 560 farmers from different towns and cities on Tuesday by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriones, along with Gov. Amado Espino III and Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, led the distribution in a ceremony at the Sison Auditorium.
Castriones warned the farmer beneficiaries about selling or mortgaging their lands in the next 10 years because this is against the law.
He said the government will take back lands that are mortgaged or sold.
“If I were you, I will not sell my land. Because this is your legacy as farmers, you should rather pass this on to your children,” he added.
While he said “Filipino farmers are largely poor unlike in other countries, one day, Filipino farmers will be the richest among Filipinos,” he said.
Last year, he said, DAR made history when it distributed over 60,000 hectares of land, which was regarded as the biggest land distribution ever made yet.
This year, DAR is eyeing to distribute 20,000 hectares of land to benefit 10,000 landless farmers in SOCSARGEN in Mindanao but he pointed out that there are more than one million hectares of land that still have to be distributed.
He added that of out of these, 600,000 hectares are private lands and another 400,000 are government-owned lands.
He urged the new land beneficiaries to form their own Agrarian Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOS) so that they have easy access to support services, like fertilizers, machineries, trainings and others.
A Memorandum of Agreement signed by DAR with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to give farmers automatic crop insurance so that farms hit by calamities will be compensated to help farmers in their next cropping season.
Castriones said he has arranged with the Medical Mission Group of Hospitals so farmers can obtain free health services from these hospitals.
He also said there is solar-powered housing project for farmers, either on-site or off-site. (Leonardo Micua)
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