MULANAY, Quezon — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, May 2, led the distribution of certificate of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to Bondoc Peninsula farmers and proposed for the inclusion of idle government lands to the ongoing land reform program.
“If the issue has always been land. Sabi ko kay Secretary John Castriciones, ‘bakit hindi mo na lang i-reform lahat pati ‘yung bukid?’” the President said in his speech following the distribution of CLOAs here.
“Wala namang silbi ‘yang mga gobyerno na lupa. And even if it is really a mountain or a hill, tatanim ninyo coconut at rubber. And that is my experience sa Mindanao,” he said.
The President however said he needs the cooperation of Congress for it to materialize.
“Bitawan na natin lahat ngayon. Wala namang silbi ‘yan. So it is not productive. It’s not being used for anything,” he said, noting that it could be used for land reform.
Duterte said the government would be able to earn money as the economy grows, adding that with less corruption, government programs would succeed.
The President noted that agriculture has always been the missing link in the country’s economy, as he proposed that other areas must look at Mindanao as the model for agriculture development.
He noted that the region has succeeded in cultivating rubber, coconut and upland palay.
During the event, 639 hectares of land were distributed to 387 agrarian reform beneficiaries in the aim to empower agrarian reform benefeciaries (ARBs) through equitable distribution of agricultural lands and support services to local farmers.
The CLOAs covered areas in Hacienda Matias in San Francisco, Quezon, which has been one of the disputed areas in the Bondoc Peninsula.
The Matias properties have been among the largest land acquisition and distribution (LAD) targets in Quezon province along with the Reyes and Tan families, covering thousands of hectares under each family name.
Since the Duterte administration assumed office in 2016, DAR made two CLOA distributions: one in October 2017 in San Narciso covering 1,270 hectares and another one in April 2018 in the same municipality covering 780 hectares.
Four hundred thirty four farmer beneficiaries received the CLOAs during the first land distribution and 510 farmer benefeciaries in the second CLOA award.
The farmer beneficiaries received initial support services that include farm equipment, farm inputs, technology training, as well as capability building.
Government agencies such as TESDA will provide training programs; DSWD for livelihood, DA and DPWH for infrastructure support; DOH for health assistance, and Landbank for financing. PND