To fast-track the distribution of farmlands in Iloilo, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones on Friday said he will issue a directive to regional director Stephen Leonidas to conduct an inventory and identify potential agrarian reform beneficiaries in the province particularly in Sicogon Island.
Castriciones issued the statement shortly after emerging from a dialogue with the leaders and representatives of Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association.
The farmers personally sought his help in expediting the awarding of farm lots to beneficiaries of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and distribution certificates of land ownership awards (CLOA).
DAR is resolving the issue of CLOA registration, especially since under the administration of former President Benigno ‘Noynoy’Aquino III, some 118,000 hectares or about 80,000 titles were not awarded to farmer -beneficiaries.
“It defeats the purpose of the CARP since farmers should get hold of their CLOA,” Castriciones said.
“Farmers who were already issued with an application to purchase and farmers’ undertaking (AFPU) should be given priority because this document would ensure that the farmers are aware of their obligation under the department’s existing program,” he explained.
The AFPU is a document that binds the farmer-beneficiaries to pay for their monthly amortizations and real estate taxes over a 30-year period.
Castriciones issued the statement after emerging from a dialogue with the leaders and representatives of Federation of Sicogon Island Farmers and Fisherfolk Association.
After the AFPU is signed, the CLOA will then be issued to the beneficiary.
The awarding of lots has been delayed for several years now due to pending land cases involving the Sicogon Development Corporation.
Earlier, officials of DAR and its regional offices from the Visayas cluster had met with officials of the Land Registration Authority to solve the continuing delays in the processing of land titles.