PASAY CITY— The Senate swiftly approved the P14.39-billion proposed budget of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for 2023, on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III expressed his gratefulness for the immediate passing of the DAR’s 2023 proposed budget.
“The DAR will continue to support and advance the welfare of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) and sustain the development of the agriculture sector to improve the ARB’s living conditions.”
Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson for Food, Agriculture and Agrarian Reform, presented and defended the DAR’s budget, stating that the bulk of the budget would be used to implement the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project with P6.1 billion.
Project SPLIT aims to fast-track the subdivision of collective certificates of land ownership award (CCLOAs) and eventually issue individual land titles to the ARBs.
The rest of the budget will be distributed to support the three major programs of DAR.
These include Agrarian Justice Delivery (AJD) Program with P915 million. The AJD provides legal support and assistance to the ARBs through effective means of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or conciliation.
The second is Land Tenure Security (LTS) Program with P 3.03 billion, which include land acquisition and distribution activities and landowners’ compensation.
And the third is the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP) with P1.5 billion, which will provide support services to the ARBs including training, market linkaging, credit assistance, insurance facilitation provision of farm inputs, farm machinery, and equipment.
Villar reported that project SPLIT has initiated the digitalization of its validation process which is now more accurate and faster in processing data. The DAR has hired 4,900 field validators to accomplish 1.3 million hectares by 2027.
So far, the field validation teams of SPLIT have accomplished almost 75 percent of their target. The DAR is targeting to validate 84,000 hectares by the end of 2023. When accomplished, project SPLIT will benefit 1.2 million ARBs.