DAR reviews CLOA holders in Toledo
(The Freeman) - November 13, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has conducted validation of land titles distributed in Toledo City, Cebu following reports that numerous awarded lands in the city are no longer cultivated by farmer-beneficiaries.

The activity aimed at checking the status of emancipation patents (EP) and certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs), was organized and led by a team from the DAR Office of the Undersecretary for Special Concerns Office (SCO) in 29 barangays of Toledo City, Cebu.

 Undersecretary Carim Panumpang of the SCO said DAR Secretary John Castriciones ordered the checking of the status of the awarded lands if they are still under the possession of the beneficiaries and to conduct inventory of the agri-business venture agreements entered by the agrarian reform beneficiaries' organization.

Panumpang said they got information from several congressional hearings and other sources that there are numerous awarded lands that are no longer tilled, and occupied by the registered agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).

 “Reports showed that non-ARBs are in actual possession of lands due to illegal sales, transfers or conveyances within the ten (10) year non-transferability period in violation of Section 27 of Republic Act No. 6657, as amended (M.C. NO. 333, series of 2018),” Panumpang said.

"Based on the pilot validation activities conducted by the Office of the Undersecretary for Special Concerns in the CALABARZON and Northern Mindanao regions, there are findings of numerous awarded lands which are not properly cultivated, if not abandoned by the ARBs and considerable number of awarded lands were already conveyed or transferred by the ARBs without the necessary DAR clearance,” said Abdullah Linog, team leader of the validation team.

Panumpang said the DAR shall adopt a system of monitoring the records or performance of each beneficiary, so that any beneficiary guilty of negligence or misuse of the land or any support extended to him shall forfeit his right to continue as beneficiary.

Based on the data of the agency, 4.8 million hectares of agricultural land has been distributed to 2.8 million ARBs. Such data needs to be reconciled with the actual data in the field in order to have a definite figure, the official said.

Panumpang added the team is set to conduct validation in other regions as well. Philstar News Service, FPL (FREEMAN)

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