Leyte-LGU turns over 92-has farmland to DAR for distribution to landless farmers and rebel-returnees
DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla sign the “Deed of Transfer” last Friday 19 March 2021, at the Oriental Hotel in Tacloban City, Leyte. (DAR file photo)
QUEZON CITY, March 21 — The provincial government of Leyte has turned over 91.6 hectares of agricultural land to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in compliance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to distribute all idle government lands to landless farmers and rebel-returnees under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The turnover of the property occurred after DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones and Leyte Gov. Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla sign the “Deed of Transfer” last Friday 19 March 2021, at the Oriental Hotel in Tacloban City, Leyte.
DAR OIC-Undersecretary for Field Operations Office Elmer Distor said the property would immediately be processed for distribution to a total of 458 beneficiaries, of which 262 are former rebels, who had surrendered to the government, while the remaining 196 are actual tillers of the subject land located in Barangay Daja Daku, San Isidro town, Leyte.
“This is the government’s way of showing that it is serious in resolving the long-standing issue about the five-decade-old insurgency problem – the inequitable distribution of wealth,” Distor said.
Distor said the property would be subdivided equally among the rebel-returnees and actual tillers so that each of them would receive a share of 2,000 square meters.
“This is the result of our lengthy discussion with the provincial government of Leyte in compliance with the Executive Order. No. 75, which President Duterte signed in February 2019,” Distor said.
The said executive order “directs all departments, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities of the government to identify lands owned by the government devoted to or suitable for agriculture for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.’
The entire property actually covers 277 hectares, but the provincial government chose to retain 186 hectares.
Nevertheless, Distor said the transfer of 91.6 hectare is a manifestation of the government’s political will to distribute all government-owned lands to qualified beneficiaries on or before the President’s term ends in June 2022.
Witnessing the signing ceremony were DAR Undersecretaries Emily Padilla of the Support Services Office, Virginia Orogo of the Planning, Policy and Research Office and Ranibai Dilangalen of the Mindanao Affairs and Rural Development, acting-Undersecretary for Field Operations Elmer Distor, DAR-Eastern Visayas director Ismael Aya-ay and staff of the DAR and the Leyte provincial government. (DAR)