A total of 1,322 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries from Panay and Guimaras received their Emancipation Patents (EPs) and Certificates of Land Ownership Awards during the distribution ceremony held at the Sara National High School in Sara, Iloilo on Saturday.
The distribution, led by Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, released 751 EPs and CLOAs covering 1,416.9321 hectares.
Castriciones said he was happy that the farmers have achieved their dreams of finally owning a piece of land.
“They are no longer ordinary farmers but they are already owners of their land,” he said, adding that a lot of farmers have been waiting to own a piece of land.
He said that amid the hardships because of the health pandemic, the department persisted in continuing with the land reform program to bring the message that the government is after the people’s welfare.
Criselda Deano, an ARB from Barangay Devera, said her father died waiting for the title of the two-hectare farm that was instrumental in sending them four siblings to school.
She said that after working abroad for two years, she decided to come home in 2020 to till the piece of land that was left to her by their father, and now she has the land title that her father had been waiting for.
She also challenged her fellow ARBs to develop the land awarded to them.
Deano added that the piece of land could send their children to school, provide a good life to their grandchildren, and most importantly, help the government.
In addition to EPs and CLOAs, three agrarian reform communities from the municipality were also recipients of common service facilities under the Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support.
The Nagkaisa Agrarian Reform Cooperative from Barangay Tentay received P372,020 in aid, P371,390 for the San Luis ARBs Association in Barangay San Luis, and 1.046 million for the Bagaygay ARBs Organization.
Rosemarie Layda, manager of the Nagkaisa Agrarian Reform Community, said they are not multi-millionaires but their lives have been improved because of the support they received from the government, such as farm machinery.*PNA