Philippines

Duterte distributes land titles to Hacienda Matias farmers

Duterte distributes land titles to Hacienda Matias farmers

MULANAY, Quezon (Philippines News Agency) — President Rodrigo R. Duterte distributed Wednesday certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to 386 agrarian reform beneficiaries, effectively transferring to them the ownership of the remaining 654.4082 hectares of the Hacienda Matias in Mulanay, Quezon Province.

The farmer-beneficiaries are also assured of government support and assistance, a promise made by President Duterte to all farmer-beneficiaries, including the beneficiaries here to ensure the continued and greater productivity of farmlands distributed to them.

Early last year, 283 farmers-beneficiaries received their CLOAs for about half of the estate covering three of the seven land titles, but were unable to occupy the land due to harassment by hacienda workers and legal maneuvers of the landowners.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is doing its best to hasten the distribution of land titles to actual tillers as ordered by the President to empower them and give them opportunities for a dignified and improved quality of life.

DAR records showed that Hacienda Matias, which is covered by seven land titles, has been placed under the CARP since 2004. Earlier, a portion of the property covered by three titles, were given out last year.

For several years, the owners of the 1,715-hectare Matias estate, mostly planted to coconut and straddles the villages of Butanguiad and Don Juan Vercelos in San Francisco town in the Bondoc Peninsula district, have been opposing the government’s land reform program specifying that the estate is a “cattle ranch.”

The government, through Malacanang decision dated June 9, 2014 signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., rejected the argument.

Under the previous sharing system in the hacienda, a farmer is given only a third of the proceeds of farm products like copra.

The hacienda caretaker takes charge of selling the copra and automatically deducts the two-thirds share of the landowner from the proceeds.

The farmers shoulder all the production expenses but are not refunded after the sale.

Also present during the distribution of titles are top officials of the province led by Quezon Province Gov. David “Jayjay” C. Suarez, Representative Party list, ALONA Cong. Ana V. Suarez, Land Bank of the Philippines AVP Ramilito R. Basbacio, Register of Deeds Atty. Sherwin M. Fernandez Provincial Assessor Atty. Melojean M. Puache, Provincial Treasurer Mrs. Rosario Marilou M. Uy ad Municipal Mayor of Mulanay Joselito Ojeda, San Narciso Mayor Florabelle U. Uy-yap, San Francisco Mayor Engr. Ernani C. Tan, Catanauan Mayor Atty. Almira A. Orfanel and Unisan Mayor Nonato E. Puache. (PR)

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