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Land parcelization lifts farm productivity

Parcelization of collective certificate of land ownership awards could improve the agricultural performance of farmers, according to a new research of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

PIDS supervising research specialist Ivory Myka Galang said there is a need to redistribute CCLOAs to individual land titles to mitigate problems experienced by farmers.

“We should remember that the CARP [Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program] started way back in 1988. There are tendencies that there is an update regarding the originally listed beneficiaries. There is no clear delineation on how extensive is the land ownership of each beneficiary of the collective CLOAs. This caused boundary issues among them,” Galang said during a PIDS webinar on June 17.

“Since it is also not clear who owns it, our farmers also have no incentives to pay tax and amortization. Currently, the DAR [Department of Agrarian Reform] is updating the list of beneficiaries from which inclusion and exclusion may stem from. This becomes a source of conflict,” she said.

Galang said that while it is a pragmatic approach for DAR to issue collective land titles as it would not take a longer time at very high costs, the agency also supports the parcelization of lands.

The DAR launched on Nov. 23, 2020, the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling or SPLIT program to improve land tenure security and stabilize property rights of around 1 million agrarian reform beneficiaries nationwide.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said SPLIT aims to hasten the parcelization of 1.368 million hectares of landholdings covered by CCLOAs and eventually grant individual land titles to ARBs, who were previously awarded with lands and collective CLOAs under CARP.

The project is funded by the World Bank with P24.625 billion. To implement the project, the DAR teamed up with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Land Registration Authority, Registry of Deeds, Land Bank of the Philippines, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples and the Department of Interior and Local Government.

Aside from the first research presented during the PIDS Public Webinar, Galang presented a separate study on the access to credit of ARBs.

The study found that being a member of an agrarian reform beneficiary organization could gain better credit access and that borrowing ARBO agricultural households are more affluent than non-borrowing ARBO agricultural households.

Meanwhile, PIDS vice president Marife Ballesteros presented a co-authored study on the role of ARBOs in the agriculture value chain. Ballesteros argued that being a member of ARBO could yield benefits to farmers.

“The main actors for the process of farming are the farmers. However, if we are going to organize farmers into cooperatives or organizations, then they are able to consolidate their produces and assets together to participate not only in production but also post-harvest activities,” Ballesteros said.

This is the third webinar organized by PIDS in June.  Previous webinars tackled the examination of the Philippine regulatory policies on solid waste management and the readiness of the country for digital trade integration with the Asia-Pacific. James Paul R. Gomez

Topics: PIDS , CARP , DAR , CLOA , parcelization , farm producivity
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