TARLAC CITY: The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Friday finished the three-week process of validating the list of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) in Hacienda Luisita here.
The ARB validation, which was pilot-tested in Barangay Balete is the department’s information-gathering strategy to know the current status of the farmer-beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
Balete is one of the 10 villages in three municipalities within the vast Hacienda Luisita estate awarded with 4,099.92-hectare agrarian land with 6,212 farmer-beneficiaries.
The other nine barangays (villages) are Cut-Cut, Bantog, Balete, Asturias, Lourdes and Mapalacsiao in Tarlac City; Motrico in La Paz town; and Parang, Pando and Mabilog in Concepcion town.
The validation would determine if farmers are in their respective lands and are actually tilling it themselves.
During the validation’s kick-off, DAR USec. Marcos Risonar said his office would look into reports that some ARBs violate the restrictions and agreement between them and the agency.
Based on DAR Administrative Order No. 6 series of 2016, no awarded land may be transferred, as a general rule, during the holding period, which refers to the time starting from the date of registration of the emancipation patent, certificate of land ownership award, or the title issued until the lapse of 10 years and the payment of mortgage, whichever comes later.
Exceptions to the said rule, though, include transfers like intestate succession, to compulsory heirs, and consolidation of ownership to a mortgagee bank after the redemption period expires after foreclosure.
“There are reports that farmer-beneficiaries either open for lease or sell their lands. If the information is true, we could come up with a corrective measure to protect the welfare of the farmers,” he said.
“We will ask the ARBs about their current situations. From there, we will compile all their answers to establish a conclusion that will address their immediate concerns in their communities,” Risonar added.
Jerry M. Hernandez