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DAR chief to farmer-beneficiaries: Hold on to your farms

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CALAPAN City, Oriental Mindoro – Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John R. Castriciones warned all farmer-beneficiaries not to sell their farm lots.

Castriciones, a lawyer, made the warning when he handed to each of the 55 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) here their respective individual Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs).

He said anyone who would be found to have sold their farm lots would be stripped off their right to the said farm lot and that farm lot “will be confiscated and redistributed to another qualified farmer-beneficiary.”

A total of 93 hectares of agricultural lands, located in Calapan City and the towns of San Teodoro and Naujan, all in Oriental Mindoro, were distributed during the awarding ceremonies held at the Gov. Alfonso Umali Sr. Gymnasium in Calapan City.

Castriciones urged the farmer-beneficiaries to do their part by maximizing the potential of their farm lots and be the heroes that they are “for ensuring the availability of food on the table and helping the government attain food security for the country.”

Some PHP2,200 worth of farm inputs were also distributed to a handful of representatives of agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) while practicing the DAR “new normal” conducted now in any DAR activities in compliance with the government’s health protocols such as physical distancing and wearing of face masks amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The farm inputs distributed include 30 bags of organic fertilizer, 30 bags of 25-kilogram complete fertilizer, 60 sachets of Bio-N, 150 sachets of okra seeds, 330 sachets of bean straw seeds, 60 sachets of tomato seeds and 60 sachets of eggplant seeds.

DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Office Emily O. Padilla said the provision of farm inputs is carried out under the DAR’s productivity assistance program dubbed: “The PaSSOver ARBold Move to Heal as One, Deliverance of our ARBs from the Covid 19 Pandemic.”

“The assistance is intended to vulnerable ARBs who had received their land titles from 2010 up to 2019,” Padilla said.

Virginia N. Orogo, the undersecretary for policy, planning and research office, said the agency is in the process of collating data to determine the country’s agrarian reform beneficiaries, their current condition, and who among them are in need of assistance for the much-needed support services.

Also gracing the simple rites were DAR Assistant Secretary Ubaldo Sadiarin, DAR-Southern Tagalog (Region 4B) regional director Lilibeth Lee, Oriental Mindoro agrarian reform officer Isagani Placido and some staff.