Rebel returnees from Leyte are the latest agrarian reform beneficiaries who received land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said.
Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Maximo Castañeda Jr. distributed 31 individual Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) covering 39.9 hectares to the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) during a simple ceremony held recently in Barangay Enage where the subject landholding is located.
Ten of the 31 ARBs are former rebels, DAR’s contribution to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) under Executive Order (EO) No. 70, series of 2018.
“Providing lands to the landless gives these former rebels the support they need as they start over a new life,” said Castañeda.
The awarded lots are part of the 58-hectare hacienda owned by Caridad Enage that was covered by CARP.
Under EO No. 4 of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., land amortization payments are suspended for one year.
During the event, Castañeda also shared a priority bill of the Marcos administration which, when approved, will allow ARBs to receive their lands for free, and that they will no longer need to pay amortizations and interest payments, soliciting cheers and applause from the beneficiaries and their families.
Widower Romeo Cuizon, 67, received the maximum 3 hectares a beneficiary could avail of.
Cuizon said he started working in the hacienda when he was only 15 years old, helping his tenant-father until he became one of the tenants too.
“As gratitude for this blessing, I will donate 2,000 square meter for our association’s office,” Cuizon said.
Presently, the Enage Agrarian Reform Farmer Beneficiaries Association’s center stands temporarily on a private lot. Jonathan L. Mayuga
Maria Maloloy-on, a widow and mother of three, said that she became a tenant of Enage in 1989 and she could not contain her happiness when a DAR employee told her that they would soon own the lot they were tilling.
Maloloy-on said she is happy because they will now be relieved from giving shares to the former landowner, “All the harvests will now be ours,” she said.