THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Thursday started distributing land titles to Hacienda Luisita farmers in Tarlac province.
The lots were allocated to individual beneficiaries through a raffle in Barangay Cutcut in Tarlac City.
DAR Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes said the lottery was the first in a series of lot allocation activities that will be conducted daily until all barangays of Hacienda Luisita are covered.
The DAR-Provincial Office in Tarlac estimated it would take until August 21 to complete the distribution of titles in the country’s biggest sugar estate.
Hacienda Luisita is composed of 10 barangays in three municipalities in Tarlac—Cutcut, Bantog, Balete, Asturias, Lourdes, and Mapalacsiao in Tarlac City; Parang, Pando, and Mabilog in the town of Concepcion; and Barangay Motrico in La Paz town.
For Barangay Cutcut alone, 646 qualified beneficiaries were expected to attend the lottery. While all the names of the beneficiaries were included in the raffle, only 300 were drawn due to the huge number of beneficiaries. The rest will be drawn on Friday.
“One thing is sure, all the qualified beneficiaries for the lot allocation activity in Barangay Cutcut will be given Lot Allocation Certificates during the two-day event,” Delos Reyes said.
Fr. Francis Lucas, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Social Communication and Mass Media, was among the observers invited by DAR. Also present was Fr. Lito Santos, the parish priest of Barangay Cutcut who led the opening prayer.
The beneficiaries whose names were called proceeded to a pre-designated area where they were issued a Lot Allocation Certificate (LAC) indicating the name of the beneficiary and the lot number.
Those who were called but were not present or did not send a representative can claim their certificates at the DAR Provincial Office in Tarlac City.
After receiving the LAC, the beneficiary was briefed on his rights and obligations with respect to the land awarded by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.
The beneficiary was asked to read and sign the Application to Purchase and Farmers’ Undertaking (APFU). The APFU was subscribed and sworn to, free of charge, before a DAR officer authorized to administer oaths under pertinent guidelines.
DAR officials said the APFU is a requirement for the generation and registration of the beneficiary’s Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), the title to be given to the beneficiary.
“Only those who signed the APFU will be given land,” delos Reyes said.
He said the results of the lottery will be posted in each barangay and municipality in Hacienda Luisita as well as at the DAR-Tarlac Provincial Office.
After the lot allocation, DAR will generate the CLOA using the LAC and other pertinent documents including the duly signed APFU.
The CLOAs will be forwarded to the Register of Deeds for registration and eventual distribution to beneficiaries. The CLOAs will be distributed sometime between August and September.
The DAR has identified more than 6,000 farmers who are qualified to become agrarian reform beneficiaries. Each beneficiary is entitled to a farm lot with an area of 6,600 square meters.
The lot allocation for the qualified beneficiaries in other barangays are: Lourdes (July 22 & 23); Bantog (July 25 & 26); Asturias (July 29 & 30); Motrico (Aug. 1 & 2); Pando (Aug. 5 & 6); Mabilog (Aug. 8 & 9); Parang (Aug. 12 & 13); Balete (Aug. 15 & 16); and Mapalacsiao (Aug. 19, 20 & 21).