Over 4,000 land titles, support services granted to Negros farmers

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III lead the distribution of 4,724 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) comprising 2,550 hectares of land to 2,797 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Negros Occidental, and P69.17-million worth of support services at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center in Bago City Monday. (Photo courtesy of PCOO)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD CITY – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III spearheaded the distribution of 4,724 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs), spanning 2,550 hectares, to 2,797 agrarian reform beneficiaries of Negros Occidental.

Additionally, P69.17 million worth of support services were provided at the Manuel Y. Torres Memorial Coliseum and Cultural Center in Bago City on Monday.

During the ceremony, President Marcos articulated his administration’s ongoing commitment to agrarian reform.

“Ang ating patitipon dito sa Bago City ay patunay na ang inyong pamahalaan, sa pangunguna ng Department of Agrarian Reform, ay hindi tumigil sa pagtupad ng among pangako na mamahagi ng lupang sakahan sa ating mga benepisyaryo,” he stated.

(The gathering in Bago City is a testament that your government, led by the Department of Agrarian Reform, has not ceased in fulfilling our promise to distribute farmlands to our beneficiaries)

The President also addressed the beneficiaries directly, recognizing their significant role in the nation’s agriculture. “Sa ating mga agrarian reform beneficiaries, maituturing po kayong mga buhay na bayani ng ating panahon. Kayo ang sandigan namin upang masiguro na sapat na pagkain sa hapag ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” he said.

(To our agrarian reform beneficiaries, you are considered living heroes of our time. You are our pillar to ensure that there is enough food on the table for every Filipino family)

In addition, President Marcos referenced the New Agrarian Emancipation Act he signed the previous year, providing relief to those with pending debts: “Sa mga tumanggap ng mga e-titles na galing sa collective CLOA, at sa mga tumanggap ng CLOA sa mga lupang narehistro bago mag-abente kuwatro ng Hulyo noong nakaraang taon, malugod kong ipinaaalam na wala na po kayong babayaran na amortization. Burado na po ang inyong utang sa Land Bank.”

(To those who received e-titles from the collective CLOA, and to those who received CLOAs on lands registered before the twenty-fourth of July last year, I am pleased to inform you that your amortization payments are no longer necessary. Your debt to the Land Bank has been cleared).

DAR’s initiative, which extends beyond land title distribution to encompass a wide range of support services, mirrors the government’s intention to elevate the skills and opportunities of farmer-beneficiaries.

The President underscored the broader implications of these initiatives: “Sa ating pagkakaisa, tiyak ako na mapapayabong natin hindi lamang ang agrikultura dito sa inyong lugar, kung hindi pati na sa buong ekonomiya ng Pilipinas.”

(With our unity, I am certain that we can enhance not only agriculture in your area but also the entire economy of the Philippines).

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson expressed gratitude, seeing the land distribution as a decisive move to resolve longstanding landlessness in rural areas and as a boon for agricultural development.

“Kung aton agriculture mag uswag, maga uswag man ang kabuhi sang mga mangunguma upod sa ila tagsa pamilya kag masuguran ang seguridad sa pagkaon.”

(If our agriculture prospers, the lives of the farmers along with their families will also improve, and food security will be ensured).