93-year-old farmer from Pangasinan finally receives land title from gov’t
Imagine this: you have been farming with your husband in a land you don’t own for almost four decades without any sense of ownership… and even until your husband died and you reached 90, the government still failed to award you that land you very much deserve.
That’s how it works here in the Philippines.
Fortunately, all of the effort of a 93-year old farmer didn’t go to waste, albeit late.
93-year old Emerenciana Bustamante, a farmer from Burgos, Pangasinan, has turned emotional after receiving her long-awaited certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) from the government.
“My long wait is finally over! The land is now legally mine,” said Bustamante who, together with her husband, farmed the land for more than 40 years.
“I know my husband is smiling in heaven. Our dream of owning the land for our only child finally came true,” she added.
Bustamante is the oldest of the 155 jubilant agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) who recently received their CLOAs from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
Bustamante, who is also a retired teacher, said that to augment their income, she taught in the elementary school while her late husband planted rice and fruit crops in the farm.
“Now that I am in my twilight age, and my husband is in heaven, I will leave this land to my only child and to my grandchildren. I’m so happy, I know their future will be secured because I have something to leave them with,” Bustamante said.
DAR Secretary John Castriciones, together with DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Karlo S. Bello, led the distribution of CLOAs and awarded certificates of training to 186 farmer-graduates.
The distributed lands covered some 322 hectares of agricultural lands located in the municipalities of Anda, Burgos, Dasol and Alaminos City.
Castriciones said the department will not stop after land distribution.
“We will put into action a convergence strategy to provide support services to our farmers,” Castriones said.