By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has released clear-cut guidelines on the issuance of Identification Cards (IDs) to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in response to the challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Office (LAO) Atty. Luis Meinrado C. Pañgulayan said that the ARB IDs will hopefully facilitate the access of ARBs to government assistance during the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
One example of government assistance is the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP), which Pañgulayan said is a social amelioration program to provide cash or non-cash subsidy to 18 million household beneficiaries.
This program is being implemented under the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 1 Series of 2020 signed by the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Trade and Industry (DTI), Agriculture (DA), Finance (DOF), Budget and Management (DBM), and Interior and Local Government (DILG).
There is also the Emergency Support Services Program, which will be implemented by the DAR-Support Services Office (SSO) for the benefit of the ARBs, agrarian reform beneficiaries’ cooperatives (ARBOs), and agrarian reform communities (ARCs) at the field levels. The Emergency Support Services Program will conduct activities that will ensure food security, economic empowerment, and promotion of ARBs’ rights.
“The ARBs, who belong to the marginalized sectors of the society, are badly affected by the strict implementation of the government community quarantine, not only in the entire island of Luzon but also in the other regions of the country due to the danger of pandemic COVID-19, which is rapidly transmitted from human to human and has already claimed thousands of lives,” said Pañgulayan.
He added the ARB ID will contain a control number based on the ARB’s title number and affixed with the official dry seal of the DAR, electronic signatures of the Secretary and the Regional Directors, and countersigned by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer.
It will be the task of the Regional Office, in coordination with the DAR Management Information Systems Service (MISS), to generate a master list of ARBs.
The DAR Provincial Office (DARPO), upon receipt of the master list from the Regional Office, will compare it with their own files. The DARPO shall then generate the corresponding ARB IDs with control numbers and dry seal and issue the IDs to the individual ARBs through the DAR Municipal Office (DARMO).
Pañgulayan estimated that 352,511 ARBs will be given ARB IDs. They are the ones who were given Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) from calendar years 2010 to 2020.
He said that the ARB IDs shall be valid until the end of the year, unless sooner revoked or extended by the DAR Secretary.