Despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Agrarian Reform has performed its job well.
“The DAR implementation of a swift and efficient agrarian justice delivery program is on the right track with the help of the department’s zero-backlog campaign,” Secretary John Castriciones said.
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pañgulayan said President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11494 or the
Bayanihan to Heal as One Law that provides the condonation of the interest payment and restructures the principal obligation of agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Undersecretary for Support Services Office Emily Padilla said her office has started the Project RRR (Rescue food, Redistribute it to the poor and Reduce Hunger) in partnership with Caritas Manila to implement a pro-poor program to mitigate hunger to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Likewise, the department, through the Foreign Assisted and Special Projects Office, led by Undersecretary Bernie Cruz, jumpstarted the implementation activities for the support for parcelization of lands for individual titling project by creating project management offices nationwide to facilitate the splitting of collective certificates of landownership award into individual land titles.
Cruz cited Castriciones’ directives to ensure compliance on the conditions of the loan agreement for SPLIT project for loan effectivity and immediate hiring of personnel, and to fast track the processing of the mega-farms project proposal.
On the other hand, Undersecretary for Field Operations Office David Erro disclosed that the mega farms proposal is a concept where about 50 hectares of contiguous land would be developed and provided with support services from farm machinery to seeds and fertilizers to attain food sufficiency and security, and increase the income of the farmers.
“As of Jan. 1, 2020, the land acquisition and distribution balance for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform coverage is 63,816
landholdings with an aggregate area of 523,092 hectares. Western Visayas Region (Negros and Panay Islands) has the highest number of balance followed by BARMM, Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas,” he said.
Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and Research Office Virginia Oogo reported that the inception of the DAR database system to the proposed Kumustasaka project has updated the individual profiles of 2,887,914 farmer-beneficiaries as of December 2019.
Meanwhile, Undersecretary for Special Concerns Office Carim Panumpang said to assess the status of the farmers based on the land distribution program as provided through the distribution of emancipation patents and certificates of land ownership award, and to determine the necessary interventions and support services that may be provided to the farmers, a CLOA validation activity is expected to be implemented nationwide.
For his part, Undersecretary for Finance, Management and Administration Office Lucius Jun Jun Malsi reported that the House committee on appropriations has already adopted the P8.851 billion proposed DAR budget for 2021.