By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) provided relief packs consisting of food items and protective kits to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the Bicol region who were hit hardest by restrictions in travel and other activities due to the coronavirus disease, as reported by DAR Regional Director Arnel Dizon.
The relief packs were distributed to 20,783 farmer-beneficiaries. The ARBs included in the provision of relief packs were those who received emancipation patents (EPs) and certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) from the government from 2010 up to 2019.
Dizon pointed out that this is a challenging time for farmer-beneficiaries and by realigning the Department’s 2019 continuing fund and savings, they were able to provide emergency relief assistance to the ARBs.
He said DAR-Bicol Region spent about P3.9 million to fund the food packs assistance from the realigned budget of the DAR-Bicol’s Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development and Sustainability Program (ARBDSP).
The DAR central office has allocated over P300 million to ensure the smooth and orderly implementation of the project.
The distribution of relief packs is one of the four components of the project. It also includes support to agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) as frontliners in the food supply chain, farm productivity assistance to ARBs, and livelihood support to women in crisis situation.
“DAR personnel had to work double-time to deliver the items even to the remotest barangays in the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masbate,” said Lerma Dino, the regional chief of the Program Beneficiaries Development Division.
Dino said the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, and Masbate have already completed the distribution at the end of May, while Sorsogon and Albay are expected to finish the few remaining deliveries within the week.