A farmer harvests rice in Santa Barbara, Iloilo. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – On June 20 President Rodrigo Duterte will distribute Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to 2,314 agrarian reform beneficiaries in Western Visayas.

The distribution will be held at the multipurpose gym of Cabatuan, Iloilo to mark the 30th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

A CLOA is a proof of ownership of the agrarian reform beneficiary with respect to private agricultural land covered under Republic Act 6657 (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988).

A total of 3,772 CLOAs will be distributed covering 2,694 hectares of land.

Last month, Duterte ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to pursue an “aggressive” land reform program to alleviate the lives of poor farmers.

“The word the President used is a ‘renaissance’ of land reform in the country,” said DAR secretary John Castriciones.

The targets this time are idle government lands, he said.

Here’s the breakdown of the President’s CLOA distribution next week:

* Aklan – 56 CLOAs, 49 beneficiaries

* Antique – 66 CLOAs, 63 beneficiaries

* Capiz – 440 CLOAs, 367 beneficiaries

* Guimaras – 186 CLOAs, 158 beneficiaries

* Iloilo – 301 CLOAs, 221 beneficiaries

* Negros North – 1,775 CLOAs, 900 beneficiaries

* Negros South – 938 CLOAs, 556 beneficiaries

President Duterte, who also chairs the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council, has committed to improve the quality of life farmers and raise their productivity by including land tenure security as a key priority in the 10-point socioeconomic agenda of his administration.

“Agriculture is the weakest link and has been bogging efforts since the time of (former presidents Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino). Asar na ako (I am pissed off),” the President told a group of farmers in Quezon province last month when he distributed CLOAs there.

Castriciones said DAR aims to distribute some 561,000 hectares of agricultural land in the county at an average of 50,000 hectares a year.

“If money is used properly, I think that by the time I leave, a sizeable hectares of lands will be used (in land reform), and I would have played a little part in solving the problem,” the President said last month.

Duterte will also be turning over farm-to-market roads (FMR) in Iloilo province built under the Agrarian Reform Communities Project of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). These are the following:

* in the municipality of San Rafael – FMR with bridge from Barangay San Andres to Barangay San Florentino (P56.26 million)

* in Bingawan – concreting of the junctions of barangays Agba-o, Tapacon and Inamyungan, and Barangay Guinhulacan FMR with bridge (P52.52 million)

* in Barotac Viejo – FMR from Sitio Nagpana to Sitio Proper Libata in Barangay San Geronimo (P34.12 million)

* in Dumangas – FMR from Barangay Pulao to Sitio Burol, Barangay Sulangan (P26 million)

* in Lambunao – concreting of junction of national road from Barangay Agsirab to barangays Bagongbong and Caguisanan (P58 million)

Duterte will also be turning over three bridges to Barangay Bingawan, Badiangan town; Barangay Nabitasan, Pototan; and Barangay Calumbuyan, New Lucena, all in Iloilo province.

Newly appointed personnel of DAR Region 6 will take their oath of office before Duterte also on June 20.

Included in the President’s entourage are Castriciones and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go.

According to Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr., the President will also grace the gathering of the Philippine Councilors League (PCL) at the Iloilo Convention Center in Iloilo City.

PCL will be holding in Iloilo City from June 20 to 22 its 2018 2nd Quarterly National Executive Officers – National Board Meeting and 5th Series of Continuing Local Legislative Education Program with the theme, “Education and Technology: The Power Key to Advanced Skills in Local Legislation and Transformation of Character and Efficiency in Public Service.”/PN

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