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DAR chief distributes land titles in Central Visayas

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado Estrella III distributed on Tuesday, February 21, 2023, a total of 1,290 land titles to 1,321 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) covering 1,171.34 hectares of agricultural lands from the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Oriental.

The distribution activities were simultaneously held in the three (3) provinces of Central Visayas, with Secretary Estrella leading the event in Bohol, Atty. Kazel Celeste, Undersecretary for Field Operations Office (FOO), in Negros Oriental and Atty. Marjorie Ayson, Assistant Secretary FOO, in Cebu province.

In Bohol, about 501 ARBs received 602 land titles, covering 544.05 hectares. Of these land titles, 483 are electronic titles (e-titles), generated under the DAR’s Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project, comprising 471.15 hectares distributed to 402 ARBs. The remaining  72.89 hectares were provided with 119 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) given to 99 farmers.

Negros Oriental distributed 480 land titles, covering an aggregate area of  330.63 hectares, to  474 ARBs. Of these total, 175 are e-titles, covering 145.73 hectares, distributed to 212 ARBs; 271 are CLOAs, covering 164.83 hectares, to 238 ARBs; and 34 are emancipation patents (EPs), covering 20.07 hectares, for 24 ARBs. 

In Cebu province, 208 CLOAs, covering 296.66 hectares, were distributed to 346 ARBs.

The SPLIT Project is the subdivision of agricultural lands and issuance of individual land titles to ARBs who were previously awarded lands under collective CLOAs.

“Hold on to your land titles and take care of your farmlands because this administration will pour out various support services in your community to boost your livelihood activities,” he said.

Estrella divulged that aside from the provision of lands and support services, the DAR is working in tandem with the lawmakers for the eventual approval of a bill to make the lands distributed to the ARBs free from amortizations.

Avelino Montes, a 67- year old ARB from Talibon, Bohol, expressed his gratefulness to Secretary Estrella for finally receiving the land titles they were dreaming of for 30 years.

“We are now looking forward to a brighter future for our families because of these lands and the promise of support that they will deliver to us,” he said.

Bohol Governor Augmentado, who also graced the event emphasized the importance of the agrarian reform program in the country’s food sufficiency and that the provision of lands and farm machinery are solid proof that the farmers are benefitting from it.

Leomides Villareal, DAR Central Visayas regional director expressed his happiness for the hard work of all the DAR officials and personnel stating that: “Our fulfillment is manifested in the smiles of our ARBs.”

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