By Chito Chavez
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) on Friday issued clarification guidelines to avert any controversy with regards to the distribution of the government’s cash aid to the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB).
DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones explained that the guidelines will expedite the process of ARB getting access to government assistance during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
He added that the clarificatory guidelines will also provide vital information regarding the issuance of identification cards (IDs) to ARBs nationwide.
Explaining further, Castriciones said the ARB IDs are being issued so that its holders will be assured of receiving benefits under the social amelioration program of the government.
“There is a need to limit the coverage of the ARB ID project to beneficiaries who have not yet fully availed of the opportunities and benefits under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) as well as leaseholders who do not own the land they till,” Castriciones said.
The clarificatory memorandum circular states that the issuance of ARB IDs shall be based on the master list of registered ARBs between 2016 and 2019 who have received registered emancipation patents (EPs), certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs), and other titles issued under any agrarian reform program, registered with the Registry of Deeds, whether or not the beneficiary has been installed or uninstalled to the awarded land.
“The ARBs as well as the leaseholders face economic hardships, especially in these trying times of the covid-19 pandemic, that is why they are treated as our priority,” he added.
Those who will also be provided with ARB IDs are the following: ARBs who are listed in the master list of registered ARBs before 2016 who have received EPs, CLOAs, but remain uninstalled as of the date of the awarded land; leaseholders or tenants who are holders of agricultural leasehold contracts (ALCs) and who are in the registry of leaseholders of the Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Office.
“To those agricultural tenants or lessees who are holders of ALCs, since they are not the owners of the land they till, and do not have any agrarian reform title, they shall also be issued with ARB IDs by the DAR,” Castriciones said.
The DAR is currently processing and distributing for free the ARB IDs to 352,511 ARBs nationwide.