November 26, 2016 at 10:01 pm
BARUGO, Leyte—About 783 farmers from five Leyte towns became landowners when Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano distributed 1,058 certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) recently at the Apostol Gymnasium here.
The CLOAs covered a combined area of 1,427.5 hectares of farmlands in the towns of Barugo, Alangalang, San Miguel, Carigara and Jaro.
Lolita Candaza, one of the beneficiaries, said with the award they could now avail of the various assistances extended by the different local and international non-government organizations to Typhoon “Yolanda” survivors.
Mariano was assisted by Land Registration Authority Deputy Administrator Robert Leretana, Mayor Maria Rosario Avestruz, Department of Agrarian Reform Regional Director Sheila Enciso, DAR Assistant Regional Directors Ma. Fe Malinao and Ismael Aya-ay, Leyte Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Renato Badilla, and Riena Reyes, Project Coordinator of Rights Inc. an NGO that has been assisting the farmers.
According to Badilla, San Miguel has the most number of beneficiaries at 245 with 321 CLOAs covering 233 hectares. Barugo has 222 for 398 CLOAs covering 280.1 hectares; Jaro has 147 for 230 CLOAs covering 684.6 hectares; Carigara has 123 for 102 CLOAs covering 129 hectares; and Alangalang has 46 beneficiaries of the 7 CLOAs covering 100.6 hectares.
Mariano stressed that it is DAR’s goal to free farm workers from “the bondage of the soil.” He also announced that the department is creating a national LAD (land acquisition and distribution) action team that will help strategize and hasten the land distribution process nationwide.
DAR is also reconstituting CLOAs that were destroyed when the Registry of Deeds office in Palo burned down in the ‘90s.
Enciso thanked the LRA for cutting the requirements in the registration of CLOAs, resulting in the release of land titles pending at the ROD.
For the beneficiaries to understand, Leretana explained that in the registration of an original certificate of title (OCT) as in the case of these CLOAs, tax declaration is required as proof of ownership.
But since ownership has already passed thru several persons, it was difficult then to present a tax declaration especially that the present owner has to pay unpaid real property tax, if ever the previous owners failed to pay them before they could be issued with the document. Leretana said this was the reason why they decided to take it out from the requirements.