Marcos vows to finish land distribution in 4 years

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
Marcos vows to finish land distribution in 4 years
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on May 6, 2024.
STAR / KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Land distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) will be finished in the next four years or before his term ends, President Marcos vowed yesterday.

“I wish that within my term, all the beneficiaries of the agrarian reform will receive the title of their own land. We will finish it in the next four years,” Marcos said during the distribution of land titles in Tacloban City.

Marcos led the distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental and Tacloban City, Leyte to thousands of farmers in Central Visayas (Region 7) and Eastern Visayas (Region 8).

Land titles covering around 2,867 hectares and 3,855 CLOAs were distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries in Region 7, while 5,438 land titles were turned over to ARBs in Region 8.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III accompanied Marcos during the distribution, which is in accordance with Republic Act 11953 or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act.

Marcos signed the law in July 2023, which freed more than 600,000 Filipino farmers nationwide from P57.65 billion in agrarian arrears.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has already distributed 15,163 hectares of land to 9,549 ARBs nationwide.

The figure is more than 65 percent of the annual target of 23,216 hectares of land to be distributed this year.

In his remarks in Dumaguete earlier in the day, the President noted that most of the farmers in Central Visayas have waited long enough for their own land to till.

One of them is Simeo Acadmia, aged 101, of Panalaan, Bais City, Negros Oriental.

Acadmia waited 42 years for the CLOA, according to the Presidential Communications Office.

Marcos described the “labor of love” his late father and namesake started with former agrarian reform secretary Conrado Estrella Sr. in giving land to landless farmers.

The current DAR chief is Estrella Sr.’s grandson.

Aside from CLOAs and land titles, Marcos also distributed P17.5 million in agrarian equipment to around 3,268 beneficiaries in Central Visayas.

Marcos said the government has also allotted around P71 million for irrigation projects as part of the government’s intervention to minimize the impact of El Niño.

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