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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Antipolo farmers get land titles after 14 years

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After 14 years of a land dispute against a private firm, at least 47 farmer-beneficiaries in Antipolo City, Rizal finally received from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) their certificates of land ownership award (CLOA).

DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Kazel Celeste said the distribution of CLOAs to the farmers was delayed because of a petition filed by landowner Philippine Guarantee Corporation (PhilGuarantee), a state-owned company.

According to DAR, PhilGuarantee requested for the property to be exempted from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) of the government, arguing that the lands in question were not suitable for agriculture.

Celeste noted, however, that the agency’s Calabarzon regional office junked the petition—a decision that the Office of the Secretary, Office of the President, and the Court of Appeals later on affirmed.

“After a long and tedious legal battle between the farmers and the landowner, coverage of the landholding under CARP finally prevailed in Barangay San Luis, Antipolo City after 14 years of judicial battles,” she said.

The Land Bank of the Philippines issued a memorandum of valuation and a certificate of deposit in the name of the landowner, paving the way for the transfer of title in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.

Celeste congratulated the new landowners as they were freed from the burden of paying the rentals for land use and from the fear of getting ejected as tenants.

“The CLOAs are proof that they are now the owners of the land they have been tilling given by the government through the DAR,” she said.

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