DAR will begin awarding landless farmers in Marawi’s Camp Keithley.
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, a portion of Camp Keithley, a military reservation in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, would be allocated to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) (CARP).
“They’ve had enough of waiting. This property belongs to their ancestors. It should be handed back to them. “Let us do our best to transfer these lands to them in March,” DAR Secretary Bernie Cruz said at the agency’s 2021 year-end assessment and 2022 strategy setting here.
According to Cruz, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s mandate under Executive Order No. 75, series of 2019, the dispersal of vacant government-owned lands (GOLs) like those in Marawi is a major priority.
“The President feels that historical injustices have been perpetrated against the Bangsamoro people, compromising their legal title to their ancestral lands.” And it’s only fair to compensate them by allocating all government-owned property to the rightful claimant in order to make amends for the historical wrongdoings,” Cruz stated.
Cruz directed the DAR Field Operations Office and its Northern Mindanao regional office to conduct the survey efforts on Camp Keithley in Marawi City as soon as possible, identify people who would be affected, and allocate the lands to the ARBs in the area.
In her progress report, DAR-Northern Mindanao regional director Zoraida Macadindang stated that the DAR has been working very hard in the face of the pandemic danger. The opposition of possible ARBs/applicants in Barangay Alinun, Saguiaran to conduct the survey and the delay in conducting the subdivision survey due to the absence of potential ARBs/applicants at the time of the survey are also being resolved in the coverage of Camp Keithley military reservation.
“However, despite all of these obstacles, we are currently 70% finished with selecting landholdings for distribution, perimeter surveying, procurement activities, validation, documentation, and approval of subdivision designs,” Macadindang stated.
“We can now begin distributing lands in March, beginning with roughly 200 hectares, and will continue with subsequent land distributions in the coming months as we finish up work on the rest of the military reservation,” she said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed paperwork transferring a portion of the government-owned Camp Keithley military reservation to the DAR in October 2021.
The military reservation will be allocated to identified Marawi farmers under the CARP.
This military reservation covers 6,667 hectares, and 4,000 hectares of land will be transferred to qualifying beneficiaries in Marawi, Marantao, Piagapo, and Saguiaran towns in Lanao del Sur, based on Executive Order 75 and following the initial DAR survey.
Camp Keithley is a former US military installation in the Philippines that was created at the beginning of the Philippine-American War in the early twentieth century. On December 23, 1953, former President Elpidio Quirino issued Presidential Proclamation No. 453 designating the 6,667-hectare tract as a military reserve.
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