Ormoc agrarian beneficiaries see first harvest after 21 years
Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Barangay Sumanga in Ormoc City, who just received their certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) from the government, finally saw their first harvest of sugarcane after 21 years of waiting to work on the farm they legally own.
“Masaya kami dahil may income na kami. May pambayad na sa lupa, at matutupad na ang pangarap ng anak ko na makapagtapos ng pag-aaral (We are happy because we now have income. We can now pay land amortization, and my child’s dream to get a college degree will already be realized),” said 55-year-old farmer Pablo Silva, president of the Sumanga United Farmers Association (SUFA).
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Regional Director Sheila Enciso said Silva is among the 24 ARBs recently awarded with CLOAs under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“After receiving their CLOAs, their journey as ARBs was not smooth. They were blocked from entering the property by the previous landowner who resisted coverage of the lot under CARP,” Enciso explained.
Enciso said that through the years, the DAR determinedly worked for the installation of the farmers in their respective farm lots.
Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Perpetua Sabaldan, who took charge of the installation activities in Leyte, explained that the 17.5 hectares that ARBs are now farming, is part of the 35-hectare property previously owned by the Potenciano and Anecita Larrazabal Enterprises Corporation (PALEC) that was awarded to SUFA.
Sabaldan said that out of the 35 hectares, only 12 hectares are currently being planted with root crops by the ARBs.
“Pablo Silva and the 23 other ARBs waited for 19 years to be installed in their awarded land, and two more years before they were able to harvest in the land that was already theirs 21 years ago,” Sabaldan Said.
Sabaldan narrated that after several attempts, the combined efforts of DAR, KAISAHAN, a non-government organization assisting them, and the Philippine National Police finally paid off when the farmers were finally installed.