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Camiguin agrarian reform beneficiaries get electronic land titles

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed electronic land titles or e-titles to 30 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Camiguin Island.

DAR Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III led the distribution of e-titles, which cover 17 hectares of agricultural lands in different municipalities of Camiguin and were distributed under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project of the agency.

Camiguin is the smallest province in the Philippines in terms of both land area and population, next to Batanes.

In his brief speech during the ceremony held last week, Estrella said the SPLIT project intends to fast-track the land subdivision or parcelization of collective certificates of land ownership award (CCLOAs) of about 1.3 million hectares of land nationwide.

“The SPLIT project was funded by the World Bank so that the CCLOA could be parceled to issue individual titles. We will release individual e-titles. The purpose of this is to protect and affirm the property rights of our ARBs,” Estrella said.

“When we see our name on the land title, we know that it is legally and completely ours. To God be the glory, the DAR blessed me with this piece of land,” farmer Grace Guibao said after receiving her e-title.

Estrella also urged the beneficiaries to do their part in improving their respective farmlands and elevating their economic lives.

“We promise to give you support services like farm machines, access to credit, and various training to help you sustain the gains that you reap from this land that is now legally yours,” Estrella said.

Kazel Celeste, DAR Undersecretary for field operations, said they are in close coordination with the Registry of Deeds and Land Registration Authority for the smooth processing of issuance of e-titles.

“This is a milestone for the farmer-beneficiaries, particularly in strengthening their land tenure security.”

During the event, the DAR chief declared that the island of Camiguin is now LAD-free which means that the land acquisition and distribution phase has been completed.

“After years of implementing land reform here, we are proud to say that all agrarian reform beneficiaries of the island have been given lands. But our service to them does not stop with giving them lands. Now we will focus on providing them with support services to help them sustain their farms.”

The province of Camiguin covered 2,618 hectares of agricultural lands with 3,505 ARBs. Of the said hectarage, all 3,305 ARBs are now landowners under the comprehensive agrarian reform program.

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