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A total of 4.7 thousand agrarian reform beneficiaries in NegOcc have received land titles.

During the distribution ceremonies performed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Sipalay City on Tuesday, at least 4,754 farmer-beneficiaries in Negros Occidental got certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs).

Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, the beneficiaries were allocated 4,729 hectares of agricultural land with 8,259 CLOAs from 17 municipalities and cities (CARP).

DAR Secretary Bernie Cruz, who presided over the ceremony at Kyla’s Event Hall in Barangay 2, expressed his hope that the farmers’ land titles would be the beginning of a better life for them, with the help of DAR and the local government.

“Congratulations to our agrarian reform recipients. It’s been a long journey. You had to wait a long time to get your land titles. Our plea is that you do not sell or pawn your titles so that your children and future generations might profit from them. In a blend of Cebuano and Tagalog, Cruz urged, “Take excellent care of the land that has been entrusted to you and show love for it.”

3,034 hectares were awarded to 2,830 ARBs in the province’s southern region, including the cities of Bago, Himamaylan, and Sipalay, as well as the towns of Binalbagan, Cauayan, Hinigaran, Ilog, Isabela, La Castellana, Moises Padilla, and Pontevedra.

The city of Sagay, San Carlos, Silay, Talisay, Victorias, and the municipality of Toboso was among the 1,924 ARBs who received 1,694 hectares.

Sheila Enciso, DAR-Western Visayas Regional Director, said the ARBs, particularly those from Sipalay City who were severely impacted by Typhoon Odette last December, will be able to build their homes on the property that has been allocated to them.

“We have to disperse the remaining lands based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s direction, especially to those affected by Typhoon Odette,” Enciso stated.

Albino Bombio Jr., a Victorias City ARB, claimed he has worked on a sugarcane field since he was 15 years old. Despite the fact that they were treated kindly and fairly by the landowner, he was ecstatic to learn that he would finally acquire a land title.

“I’m pleased to report that I benefited from agrarian reform.” My family and I have lived and worked in the hacienda my entire life. We all have dreams, even if we live a humble existence. Our greatest ambition is to possess a piece of property that we can call our own. He said, “Now that I earn more, I can better provide for my family’s needs.”

Farmer-beneficiary Fausto Tabotabo of Sipalay City’s Barangay Maricalum stated his family’s livelihood was destroyed when Typhoon Odette slammed southern Negros.

“I’m grateful that Secretary Bernie Cruz came here to provide us with a source of income. Our family will be able to make a life with this modest piece of property,” he continued.

During the ceremony, Sipalay City Mayor Maria Gina Lizares congratulated the ARBs on their land titles and advised them to take excellent care of the land they had been given.

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