By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
A total of 33.3475 hectares of lands were formally handed over to 16 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Mandaon, Masbate.
Led by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the distributed land titles covered at least three landholdings comprising an area of 33.3475 hectares and are situated in barangays Buri and Tagpo, according to Officer-in-Charge (OIC) Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rudy Delgado.
The landholdings were acquired by DAR through compulsory acquisition from landowners Aurelio Lucio, Patrocinio Alayon and Simeona Bonayog, Delgado added.
During the activity, OIC Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer I (PARPO I) Herald Tambal urged the farmers to take good care of their awarded lands and use it to improve their livelihood and quality of life.
“I suggest you engage in vegetable farming because the demand is high and it is really profitable if done the right way. To become successful in this endeavor, you need to learn new farming technologies and enterprise strategies from our government’s rural development programs, which will be provided by the DAR,” Tambal said.
ARB Mars Pantia vowed to cultivate his land and produce as many crops as he can to support his family. He also promised that he would not sell his land.
“For me, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Starting today, I am not anyone’s farmer anymore. I am the farmer of my own land. I may not be as strong or as young as I was before, but with my family by my side, I know we can get through anything,” Pantia said.
After the distribution of titles, DAR Land Tenure Services Division Chief Delia Amante conducted a lecture on the rights and responsibilities of ARBs.
She reminded the beneficiaries to make their lands productive, pay the amortization to the Land Bank of the Philippines, and as well as the required taxes.