The Department of Agrarian Reform in Region 6 is validating the government-owned agricultural lands to be distributed to qualified agrarian reform beneficiaries in Western Visayas.
Stephen Leonidas, director of DAR 6, said yesterday that the implementing rules and regulations of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order No. 75, that ordered the distribution of all government-owned lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture to qualified beneficiaries , has been signed recently by the heads of the DAR and the Department of Justice.
“We’re now in the process of identification of identified landholdings. After validation, the DAR will request the government agency to turn it over so we can proceed with the coverage. If there’s resistance, the DAR will issue a notice to proceed with acquisition,” he said.
He said they have identified more than 10,000 hectares of government-owned agricultural lands in the region, but it is still subject to validation.
“Most of these lands are in Panay. There are only a few in Negros Occidental, as most of its agricultural lands are privately-owned,” he added.
He said they hope to complete the validation before the year ends, as Duterte had earlier ordered them to hasten the allocation of lands in the remaining three years of his term, particularly those owned by the state.
Under the IRR of Duterte’s executive order, qualified beneficiaries are farmers, tillers or farmworkers who are landless or who own less than three hectares of agricultural lands, residents of the barangay or municipality where the landholding is located, and at least 15 years of age at the time of identification, screening and selection of the farmer-beneficiaries, and with willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land productive.*
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