“FINALLY, we are an inched closer to our long-cherished dream of owning the lands we till.”
These are the words that were unanimously uttered by hundreds of Hacienda Luisita farm workers who were among the first to receive Lot Allocation Certificate on Thursday morning.
“I am very happy, this is something we waited for so many years. Thank you to DAR and to President Aquino,” said teary-eyed and widowed 68-year farm worker Lucina Donato Aquino as she received the certificate indicating her name and lot number 1282 as a beneficiary.
“I cannot ask for more. Finally, our long-dream come true,” Rufino Agustin, 63 year-old farm worker in Hacienda Luisita said as he pin-pointed his lot number 1282 indicated in the certificate he received from DAR.
The initial successful Lot Allocation Certificate distribution was led by Department Agrarian Reform (DAR) secretary Virgilio de los Reyes along with other DAR officials at the basketball court in the barangay hall of Cutcut, Tarlac at 8:00am.
According to Sec. de los Reyes the certificate were distributed to individuals via “raffle” or drawing of lots through “tambiolo” (raffle drum).
“We do the raffle to ensure that there is orderly and fair distribution of farm lots to qualified beneficiaries and also to avoid any insinuations that some beneficiaries can choose their lot locations,” de los Reyes explained in a press conference at the Century Park Hotel in Tarlac.
Under the set-up, the name of qualified beneficiaries are drawn from the tambiolo while the corresponding location of their individual farm lots are digitally projected in real time in an electronic subdivision map of Hacienda Luisita.
The beneficiary whose name was called then proceeded to a designated personnel that issues the lot allocation certificate, indicating the name and lot number for the farm lot allocated upon verification.
“After receiving the certificate, the ARBs are given orientation and informed on their rights and obligations with respect to his CARP-awarded land like the amortization that they will pay for a period of 30 years at an affordable rate,” said lawyer Anthony Parungao.
The beneficiary then read and signed the Application to Purchase and Farmer’s Undertaking (APFU) and sworn to the guidelines set therein.
The APFU is a mandatory requirement for the generation and registration of the beneficiary’s Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), the title to be given to the beneficiary for his CARP-awarded land.
“Only those who signed the APFU will be given land,” de los Reyes stressed as he cited that CLOAs will then be forwarded to the Register of Deeds for registration and eventual distribution to beneficiaries by September of this year.
The drawing of lots in Barangay Cutcut was the first in a series of allocation activities that will be conducted almost daily until all barangays of Hacienda Luisita are covered according to DAR.
Hacienda Luisita is composed of 10 barangays in three municipalities in the province of Tarlac.
These are barangays Cutcut, Bantog, Balete, Asturias, Lourdes, and Mapalacsiao in Tarlac City; Parang, Pando and Mabilog in the town of Concepcion; and Motrico in La Paz town.
In barangay Cutcut alone, there are about 645 qualified beneficiaries.
The drawing of lots in the said barangay will be finished by Friday according to the DAR secretary.
“All the qualified beneficiaries for the lot allocation activity in this barangay will be completed until Friday,” he said as he expressed satisfaction for the ease in the drawing of lots designated for every beneficiary and seen how happy and contented the farm workers as they received their certificates.
Around 6,000 farm workers are qualified ARBs in Hacienda Luisita.
Each beneficiary is expected to own farm lots with an area of 6,600 square meters, more or less, from the total area of 4,099 hectares for distribution.
An additional 400.87 hectares will also be acquired under the CARP but will not be distributed, as these will be used as common areas, such as firebreaks which will also serve as access roads to the farm lots of the beneficiaries, fishponds, canals, roads, etc.
The lot allocation activities for the qualified beneficiaries in other barangays are scheduled as follows: Lourdes (July 22 & 23); Bantog (Jly 25 & 26); Asturias (July 29 and 30); Motrico (Aug. 1 and 2); Pando (Aug. 5 and 6); Mabilog (Aug 8 and 9); Parang (Aug. 12 and 13); Balete (Aug. 15 and 16); and Mapalacsiao (Aug. 19, 20 and 21). PNA