URDANETA CITY, Pangasinan — Pangasinan military and police veterans have sought the assistance of the Department of Agrarian Reform through Regional Director Maria Ana B. Francisco to discuss the possibility of becoming an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) under the government’s comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP).
Francisco said that section 40 of the amended Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, lists landless veterans, retirees, surrenderers, and other similar beneficiaries as those who shall be considered potential land awardees under the CARP.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year also ordered the distribution of 52,000 hectares of unused government agricultural lands, under Executive Order (EO) No. 75, series of 2019, to qualified ARBs.
EO 75 directs the identification of all idle government-owned lands (GOL) which are dedicated or suitable for agriculture for distribution to qualified ARBs.
“Secretary Conrado Estrella III has directed us to speed up the identification and validation of idle government-owned lands so we can distribute these the soonest possible time,” Francisco said.
The DAR issued a memorandum last January directing all DAR regional and provincial officers to start processing applications of retired personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, rebel-returnees, and agricultural graduates.
“This memorandum was issued because the DAR has been receiving numerous requests from these applicants seeking assistance to become or be identified as a potential ARB. We will be following rules and guidelines set by the government to know if these applicants are qualified,” Francisco said.
The government veterans, headed by Deputy Chief of Police Major Rommel Sembrano of the Urdaneta Police Office, along with the AFP and PNP retirees, saw the announcement on the DAR’s Official Facebook account instructing government veterans, rebel-returnees, and agriculture graduates, to visit any DAR offices near them to find out if they are qualified to become an ARB.
Francisco informed the applicants that the provincial office is accepting applications for the program, but there are presently no identified government-owned lands suited for agriculture and distribution in Pangasinan.
All interested applicants were encouraged to visit the Legal Division before applying for the program so they can first be oriented on the Department’s policy on land acquisition and distribution.