Marawi farmers to get own lands soon

Published August 31, 2021, 6:55 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Farmers in Marawi City in Mindanao will have their own parcels of land in the coming months as the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is already halfway done in terms of processing necessary requirements for the land distribution.

DAR Sec. John Castriciones said the agency will do its “best” to distribute the government-owned lands in Camp Keithley to the farmers starting October.

According to Castrictiones, the land distribution is part of President Duterte’s Executive Order No. 75, which directs all government instrumentalities to identify lands owned by the government devoted or suitable for agricultural purposes for distribution to identified qualified beneficiaries.

“This land is part of their ancestral domain. It should be returned to them,” he said during a recent coordination meeting with various stakeholders of the project.

DAR Northern Mindanao Regional Director Zoraida Macadindang said the agency is already “done with identifying the landholdings for distribution, perimeter surveying, procurement activities and validation, documentation and approval of subdivision plans.”

​”​We are halfway in finishing all the necessary requirements before land distribution, but rest assured, we will speed everything up so we can award the lands to the Bangsamoro farmers by October,​”​ ​she added​.

Camp Keithley ​was​ a former U​.S.​​​ military base built during the start of the Philippine-American war. On December 23, 1953, former President Elpidio Quirino, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 453, converted the 6,667-hectare area, now renamed Camp Amai Pakpak, into a military reserve​, DENR said.​