Things are looking up for the livelihood of farmer communities in Cebu province as local agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are set to benefit from having their own lands as well as new bridges in the area.
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Wednesday, June 16, that 1,263.3 hectares (ha) of agricultural lands were recently distributed to 1,035 ARBs in the province.
The distributed land titles covered 681.14 ha in Toledo City and 582.15 ha in the town of Pinamungajan.
Meanwhile, the department also turned over two bridges in the towns of Balamban and Aloguisan. These structures are meant to provide better access and cheaper transportation for farmers in bringing their products to various markets and trading centers.
The bridges were constructed under a P57.6-million project dubbed the “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo Project (TPKP).”
Agrarian Secretary Brother John Castriciones said, “These government interventions are aimed to improve the lives of the ARBs and contribute to ensuring the country’s food security.”
“The DAR has three mandates – to give lands to landless farmers, agrarian justice delivery, and the provision of support services. We are pooling all our resources to provide these services to the farmers because they truly deserve these interventions as they are the ones keeping the country’s agriculture alive,” Castriciones said.
Aside from the bridge projects, the farmers also received two trucks for their farms.
“I hope that what you receive today will free you from the bondage of poverty. Take care of the equipment and infrastructure provided to you and continuously cultivate your lands to make it more productive,” Support Services Office Undersecretary Emily Padilla said during the distribution.
The department and the local government of Cebu also signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) during the turnover.
The partnership, forged under the Enhanced Countryside Development program, intends to boost farmers’ source of income, create more livelihood opportunities, and improve agricultural productivity toward the goal of ensuring the province’s food sufficiency.