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Land reform goes on giving lands to tenants

PIA Press Release
2008/08/01

Tagum City, Davao del Norte (1 August) -- Lands are now being owned by many small farmers, no longer by the few rich through the agrarian reform program.

The agrarian reform program implementation in Davao del Norte and in Compostela have so far benefited almost 80,000 small farmers who were once tenants of the more than 106,000 hectare-lands which have been distributed to them.

Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Information Officer Dolly Amaut in an interview said a total of 54,827 hectares of lands in Davao del Norte have been given to 39,010 beneficiaries as of December 2007.

In Compostela Valley, a total of 37,191 farmers have become land owners with the distribution of 52,486 hectares of land as of December 2007.

For this year, DAR Davao del Norte is eyeing to give out 1,992 hectares of lands to a total of 1,328 beneficiaries while the same office in Compostela Valley targets to turn over 1,563 hectares to a total of 1,045 beneficiaries.

Amaut said DAR provincial offices in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley will work out to the fullest to hit the set target of land distribution this year.

In her 8th State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the government has distributed 854,000 hectares of private lands, 797,000 of public lands and that Certificates of Ancestral Domain were given for 525,000 hectares of ancestral lands.

"Sa SONA noong 2001, sinabi ko, bawat taon, mamamahagi tayo ng dalawang daang libong ektaryang sa reporma sa lupa. Di hamak mahigit sa target ang naipamahagi natin sa nakaraang pitong taon," she said.

Arroyo vowed to do what she could to help raise the standard of living of the urban and the rural poor and that she would not allow farmers to be under the manipulation of usurers.

"Agrarian reform should not merely subdivide misery, it must raise living standards," The President said in her speech. (PIA/JMDA)

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