QUEZON CITY -- The Department of Agrarian Reform distributed 1,441 hectares of agricultural land to some 858 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Bicol during the recent visit of Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano in Camarines provinces.
Ka Paeng personally handed the certificates of landownership award (CLOA) to the ARBs from the six provinces of the region, held in two occasions.
The first part of distribution was done at the Amphitheater Agro Sports & Cultural Center in Daet, Camarines Norte wherein ARBs from the municipalities of Basud, Capalonga, Daet, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz, San Vicente, and Sta. Elena came in full force to receive their CLOA individually from Ka Paeng himself, assisted by regional director Luis B. Bueno, Jr. and Camarines Norte provincial chief Roseller Olayres. The occasion was also graced by Basud Mayor Adrian Davocol and Governor Jonah Pimentel represented by Mr. Alvin Tallado.
Ka Paeng awarded the remaining land titles at the Milaor Municipal Covered Court in Milaor, Camarines Sur, during the 2nd leg of his first day visit in the region. The agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) from the provinces of Albay, Camarines Sur 1 and 2, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon came all the way to the site to attend the simple awarding rites, and meet the Secretary in person. RD Bueno together with his assistant regional directors and respective provincial executive committees headed by its provincial agrarian reform program officers were also in attendance for the significant event.
Sec. Mariano in his speech advised the new ARBs to cherish the land granted to them, take care of it, make it productive, and keep it in their possession for a long time since losing their farmlands would defeat the purpose of the government’s agrarian reform program. He also assured that he will continue to protect the rights of the farmers under his administration, and urged to strengthen the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committees (BARC).
“Pagyamanin natin ang lupang iginawad sa atin, huwag nating hayaang mawala ito sa atin. Malaki ang maitutulong nito sa pagpapunlad ng ating kabuhayan; makabitaw sa tanikala ng pagkakabaon sa utang, makaipon, at sa huli’y makatulong din sa kapwa natin magsasaka na mapagaan ang kanilang buhay,” he encouraged, in Filipino language.
Prior to the land title distribution, Ka Paeng also led the walk-through and turn-over of the more than P48 million worth Agrarian Reform Communities Project Phase II (ARCP II) in Camarines Norte.
Said completed ARCP II projects include the concreting of six (6) farm-to-market roads in barangays Iberica, Lugui, Mabilo, and Macogon in Labo town; barangay Tuaca-San Pascual, and barangay Caayunan in Basud town; and; likewise, the construction of one (1) warehouse with office in barangay Laniton in Basud town.
The above-mentioned projects are just part of the 58 total subprojects allocated to Camarines Norte with fund release of almost half a billion pesos through a loan assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with support from the national government through its National Assistance for Local Government Units or NGALGU. (DAR)