DAR chief to beneficiaries: Selling, leasing lots illegal

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AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong on Friday warned agrarian reform beneficiaries who engage in the illegal selling or leasing of their lots that they would face penalties and will be disqualified as beneficiaries of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

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“We urge those who were forced to lease or sell their lots to hold their ground. Violation of such law would be tantamount to necessary penalties including charges and disqualification from the program,” Bistoyong said.

The DAR chief on Thursday led a massive campaign dubbed as “Kampanya Kontra-Ariendo” in La Castellana, Bacolod City in Negros Occidental.

The campaign is aimed at lessening rampant engagement of some of the agrarian reform beneficiaries in illegal sale, transfer and lease of their awarded lands or the local practice of ariendohanay.

Bistoyong reported that based on the data gathered by Negros Occidental South, the province was able to cover and distribute a total of 10,537 landholdings comprising 169,219.599 hectares to 73,406 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“Unfortunately, out of 73,406 agrarian reform beneficiaries, only 28 percent or 20,751 of 73,406 agrarian reform beneficiaries were properly documented and profiled by the DAR”, she said.

To address the rampant arriendohanay, according to Bistoyong, DAR Negros Occidental 2 has intensified its campaign to remind the farmer-beneficiaries of the condition under the CARP that prohibits any sale, transfer, lease or any other form of conveyance by the beneficiaries of awarded lands within 10 years.

This DAR-initiated campaign came into force after the data showed that as of October 4, 2017, a total of 639 landholdings comprising 16,598.1286 hectares were illegally leased, sold, conveyed and transferred by 8,145 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

The DAR Negros Occidental 2 is intensifying the documentation and profiling of agrarian reform beneficiaries and the implementation of the three major final outputs—land tenure services, agrarian legal services and technical advisory for support services.

“There is no reason for the agrarian reform beneficiaries to lease out their land since the DAR already provides support services to make their land productive and provide them with a decent source of sustainable livelihood,” Bistoyong said.

“The study revealed that among the major reasons the agrarian reform beneficiaries engage in arriendohanay system include lack of financial production capital, farm tools and equipment, sufficient knowledge, strategies and skills in farm management, business and milling transactions,” she added.

“The practice of ariendo is illegal and a willful and deliberate obstruction in the delivery of the agrarian reform program,” Bistoyong said.

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