428K hectares awarded to WV farmers since 1972

Department of Agrarian Reform Western Visayas director Atty. Sheila Enciso shares the agency’s accomplishments on June 25, 2024. (Rjay Zuriaga Castor photo)

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

A total of 428,418 hectares of land have been awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Western Visayas since the Agrarian Reform Program was decreed in 1972 by the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The Department of Agrarian Reform Western Visayas (DAR-6) reported that 271,240 ARBs have received Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA).

In a press conference on Tuesday, June 25, DAR-6 director Atty. Sheila Enciso said Western Visayas has a total of 467,415 hectares allocated under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

“We have already distributed 428,000 hectares. Our remaining balance is 38,997 hectares, which is about eight percent of the total,” she said.

DAR-6 data indicates that since 1972, at least 8.34 percent or 38,997 hectares of land remain undistributed in the region as of June this year.

Meanwhile, under the current Marcos administration, a total of 17,999 ARBs in the region have received CLOAs since he took office in 2022.

Negros Occidental, which DAR-6 divided into two sets of operating units, received the largest share of land at 11,037 hectares distributed in two years. It also has the highest number of ARBs at 13,292.

The list is followed by Iloilo with 2,146 ARBs, Capiz with 929, Aklan with 644, Guimaras with 557, and Antique with 431.

Enciso cited several challenges in the distribution of CLOAs, including a lack of documentation and “contentious landholding of landowners.”

“Landowners are also fighting for their lands […] Other challenges include missing titles from the registry of deeds, titles that cannot be retrieved, and cases of misidentification in land ownership,” she added.

To streamline and expedite the distribution of land titles, Enciso said they are closely coordinating with the Land Bank of the Philippines, Registry of Deeds, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and other relevant agencies.

DAR-6 committed to distributing all the allocated land for Western Visayas before Marcos Jr. ends his term.

Meanwhile, to boost the agricultural productivity of the land, Enciso said they are also capacitating the farmers through the distribution of farm machinery and equipment via the ARB Development and Sustainability Program.

DAR-6 has so far distributed 399 farm machinery and equipment worth P72 million to 12,027 farmers and 147 ARB organizations.

Two bridges worth P25 million were also constructed in Aklan and the northern part of Negros Occidental, covering 46 hectares and benefiting at least 8,385 ARBs.

DAR-6 also turned over three irrigation projects worth P18 million, with one in Antique and two in Capiz.


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