• Top DAR story for 2013: Distribution of CLOAs to Hacienda Luisita farmer-beneficiaries

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    The completion of the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to qualified beneficiaries of the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) last October was the top accomplishment of the Department of Agrarian Reform in 2013.

    After the last batch of farm workers’ beneficiaries (FWBs) received their long-awaited CLOAs in Barangay Mapalacsiao, Tarlac last Oct. 20, Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio Delos Reyes said with elation: “The land in Luisita is now theirs.”

    In that occasion, 663 out of 745 FWBs from Barangay Mapalacsiao were the last among 10 barangays to receive the much-awaited CLOAs in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling.

    Despite the damage inflicted by typhoon “Santi” in many areas of the province of Tarlac at the time, the distribution pushed through and did not deter the eagerness of the farmers to receive the CLOAs they had waited for so long.

    Data from DAR showed that 5,718 CLOAs were distributed to FWBs out of a total of 6,189 ready for distribution that time.

    The distribution process started with the identification of qualified beneficiaries in May 2013, or a month after the DAR officially received the SC order in April of the same year.

    The distribution of the CLOAs started on September 30.

    Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Anthony Parungao said the CLOAs awarded to the farmer-beneficiaries are considered as “proof of ownership” of the CARP-awarded land.

    The CLOA distribution started in Barangay Pando and continued with the other barangays according to the schedule prepared by DAR.

    The first batch of CARP beneficiaries received the Lot Allocation Certificate (LOC) of their individual farm lots on July 18.

    The farm lots were allocated through the drawing of lots in a “tambiolo” (raffle drum) which initially took place in Barangay Cutcut in Tarlac City and led by DAR Secretary Delos Reyes himself.

    The drawing of lots took place until August 21 in Barangays Lourdes, Bantog, Asturias, Motrico, Pando, Mabilog, Parang, Balete and Mapalacsiao.

    Earlier, in February 2013, the DAR secretary emphasized during a press briefing that the government has the political will to complete the CARP’s land distribution component before President Benigno S. Aquino’s term ends in 2016.

    He also stressed there is nothing in the law that states the DAR cannot distribute CARP-covered agricultural lands beyond 2014.

    Meanwhile, the DAR, together with the Department of Agriculture and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), provided some P17.1 billion worth of crop insurance protection to agrarian reform beneficiaries over the next two cropping seasons.

    The protection plan is contained in the joint program called the “Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries-Agricultural Insurance Program (ARB-AIP).”

    It was the first collaboration between the DAR and the DA and the biggest group plan ever issued by the DA-PCIC.

    The program beneficiaries are participants of key DAR programs like the Agrarian Reform Connectivity and Economic Support Services (ARCCESS), Agrarian Production Credit Program (APCP), Micro Finance Capacity Development in Agrarian Reform Areas, and others.

    Under the agreement, the DAR role is putting up the premium worth P1 billion for the DAR-GPS (Government Premium Subsidy) for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries. PNA

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