• DAR installs 96.4% of Luisita farmers


    THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Friday reported it has completed 96.43 percent of the installation of more than 6,000 farmer-beneficiaries awarded with plots of land in Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

    In a statement, Tarlac agrarian reform officer Ileona Pangilinan said 5,990 out of 6,212 identified farmer-beneficiaries have been installed.

    The remaining 222 individuals may be installed before the end of the month, she added.

    “Unless there are outside forces to hinder our activities, we will be finished before June. Almost all of the Carp-awarded lots were already [designated]with boundary markers or mujones,” Pangilinan said.

    It has been two years since the Supreme Court (SC) issued its final and executory ruling ordering the distribution of the former Cojuangco-Aquino sugar estate to qualified beneficiaries.

    The installation of farmers had been stalled due to reported harassment of survey teams deployed by the DAR in areas where the beneficiaries’ Carp-awarded lands were physically delineated by monumenting, or placing markers or mujones to mark the boundaries of a lot.

    DAR earlier said the monumenting of the lots would have gone faster and resulted in more farmer-beneficiaries being installed had there been no instances of harassment of survey teams and mujones being destroyed by members of disgruntled groups.

    The department is stepping up the monumenting within Hacienda Luisita and has added survey teams to complete the job before the onset of the rainy season, which is when farmers usually plant crops.

    Pangilinan said some of the lands still have standing crops that will need to be harvested soon so that the DAR would be able to put mujones around the property and install the remaining farmer-beneficiaries.

    Aside from awarding land to the farmer-beneficiaries, the DAR also offers them support services such as provision of credit facilities and farm machinery as well as training programs to increase the productivity of their newly acquired land.

    The DAR is inviting the newly installed farmers to attend seminars and workshops, which aim to empower them and prepare them for enterprise building.


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