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Land recipients get added support



Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones on Saturday assured tillers that his agency will continue to support agrarian reform beneficiaries to sustain the improvement of the lives of farm workers and the agriculture sector itself.

Castriciones issued the statement as he expressed confidence that they can now fully implement their outlined programs following the recent approval of the P8.202-billion proposed 2019 budget of his department.

The budget includes funding for programs on security of tenure amounting to P2.47 billion while P1.939 billion was allotted for land recipients’ development and sustainability programs and foreign-assisted projects and another P806 million for tiller’s rights and welfare.

Also, P4.506 billion will be for personnel services, P3.548 billion for maintenance and other operating expenses and P147.960 million for capital outlay.

He added for 2019, they aim to distribute 41,077 hectares of land which will benefit a total of 31,132 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Earlier, Sen. Cynthia Villar, head of the Senate committee on agriculture and food had asked DAR to allot more funds for the development and sustainability programs of land beneficiaries.

She also wanted the agency to increase its budget for the acquisition of farm machines and equipment, noting that the key to stability and competitiveness of our famers is through mechanization.