DAR Bicol provides IDs to 11,754 agrarian reform beneficiaries

LEGAZPI CITY -- THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bicol is already more than halfway in the distribution of identification cards (IDs) to thousands of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) scattered around the region despite the difficulties in coming into contact with the beneficiaries because of travel restrictions caused by the government’s enforced lockdowns and enhanced community quarantine of entire Luzon later in March, this year.

From mid-April to May 6, a total of 7,841 out of 11,754 identification cards aimed for distribution have already been issued to intended beneficiaries in the provinces of Masbate (2,898), Camarines Sur I (2,322), Camarines Sur II (2,216), Catanduanes (1,504), Sorsogon (1,105), Albay (962), and Camarines Norte (747). Only 9,913 IDs left for distribution until the end of this month.

DAR Regional Director Arnel S. Dizon said the ARB IDs being distributed are free of charge to those who were awarded with Certificates of Landownership Award (CLOAs) and Emancipation Patents (EPs) including Leaseholders in CARP covered landholdings from 2010 to 2020.

“Only DAR field personnel will do the distribution to ensure the authenticity of the IDs which contain the farmer’s basic information. It has control numbers, such as the specific number of the ARB’s land titles including the province, municipality and barangay where the property is located,” said Dizon.

He said that the ARB IDs will give them easy access to the government’s various programs and services, especially during the implementation of the enhanced and general community quarantine, and beyond.

He explained that this serve as proof that a beneficiary has already received cash benefits or any relief assistance from the government during the community quarantine period.

“We assure those beneficiaries issued with IDs will get priorities in the government assistances that DAR and other agencies are planning to offer even after the authorities lift the community quarantines,” said Dizon. It aims at ensuring the sufficiency of the country’s agricultural food supply during these trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.

According to Dizon, the DAR, Department of Agriculture, Land Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation have already agreed to provide the ARBs with credit and insurance assistances such as Agrarian Production Credit Program, Credit Assistance Program for Program Beneficiaries Development, and Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF).

The DAR’s move of providing IDs to the ARBs complies to Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which seeks to address the threats of the coronavirus disease.