Following last week’s visit by President Rodrigo Duterte to Sagay City, where he distributed 3,423 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs), the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said their 2019 distribution target for Negros Occidental is 12,000 hectares.
Amid calls by local groups for the land distribution process to be fast-tracked, DAR Secretary John Castriciones explained the process itself requires 25 steps before CLOAs are provided to agrarian reform beneficiaries. He noted, some instances require court dates.
“If we are able to finish the processing of the CLOAs, we immediately distribute,” he said.
Last month, farmers’ organization Task Force Mapalad (TFM) called on the president to fast-track agrarian reform programs in Negros and to begin with the distributions of 30 landholdings, stretching across 900 hectares of land, which TFM said are “already in the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) pipeline.” The said land is located across a few localities including La Carlota City, Hinigaran, Cadiz City, and Sagay City.
During his speech last week, the president acknowledged the group’s demands.
“It wasn’t being fast-tracked because, you know, there are people who refuse to let go of the lands,” Duterte explained.
Castriciones noted, the president’s visit to the city was intended to “address the issue on land distribution.”/WDJ