Dagupan gets only 5 hectares; no refund of P16-M

By September 18, 2023Inside News


THE Dagupan City government can only claim to own five hectares out of the 29 hectares  in Barangays Awai and Bolo in San Jacinto town that the city government bought in 2002 for P16 million.

A report from the Department of Agrarian  Reform provincial office confirmed that the 40 farmers tilling the property already signed their respective ‘Applications to Purchase’ and ‘Farmers’ Undertakings’ (APFU) last month signifying their interests in becoming beneficiaries.

It means 24 hectares of the 29-hectare land previously sold by one Estrella Sangalang  to Mariano Cuna of Dagupan City will be transferred to the 40 farmers for the heirs of the original tenants of the property.

Then same was bought by Dagupan City for 16 million after Cuna bought the property from Sangalang.

Recall that the Dagupan City government, then headed by Mayor Benjamin Lim, bought the property against the advice of former Councilors Joey Tamayo and Farah Decano to suspend the purchase because of reports that the land was tenanted.

In an interview last week, Mayor Belen Fernandez said while the city government failed to have the area exempted from coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) the city government, under then Mayor Al Fernandez and she, as vice mayor, tried to recover the P16-M from Cuna.

However, their efforts failed when Lim returned to power in 2010 and made no effort to recover the property or to demand the return of the P16 million from Cuna.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. just signed an executive order extending the moratorium for new and future  Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) who were not included in the July 24, 2023 cut off of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act for the payment of the land acquired by them under CARP, meaning the 40 farmers may not even be asked to pay for the land. (Leonardo Micua)

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