Sta Maria, Laguna -- The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed 200.72 hectares of agricultural lands to 222 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Sta. Maria in the province of Laguna, on April 29.
The lands cover areas in the nine barangays of the municipality -- Barangays Calangay, Coralan, Cambuja, Talangka, Inayapan, Tungkod, Paoo, Macasipac and Matalingting.
Aside from the land distribution, which was led by DAR Secretary Brother John Castriciones, the department also turned over one hauling truck for a major crop-based block farm to SANTAMASI Irrigators Association, Inc. with 727 total membership of which 114 are ARB members.
The farm machinery is provided through the agency’s Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) Project.
Brother John said the activities that would take place are expected to boost the economic lives of the ARBs and their organizations, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“All of the activities that we will be doing is geared towards sustaining the significant gains in agrarian reform implementation in the country and we will continue to push these gains even amidst the coronavirus pandemic,” Brother John said.
Sta. Maria Mayor Cindy Carolino thanked the DAR family because the town was chosen to provide land for the farmers.
Sta. Maria is a well-known rice granary of Laguna with rice paddy fields covering 1,381 hectares and high value rice compared to other provinces because our rice paddy is good even though we are a 4th class municipality with the biggest land area in the province.
After the ceremony, Brother John and other top officials of DAR conducted a dialogue with seven Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Organizations (ARBOs) in the province to know their concerns and issues.
Following this, the DAR would also launch the Sta. Maria ARC Cluster Development Plan (ARCDP) to further develop the agrarian reform communities in the municipality.
Apart from the land distribution ceremony, the DAR delegate would also conduct a house-to-house distribution of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to some ARBs.
“Under the DAR to door program, we deliver the land titles of ARBs right at their doorsteps to show the farmers that we bring the government’s services to their own home and give them hope that this administration can be relied upon,” he said.
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