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PIA Press Release

Feature: DAR celebrates 36 years of productive and meaningful existence

Tacloban City (September 8) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform Region 8 commemorated its 36th Anniversary on September 7 by holding the Second CARP Quiz Date.

Mr. Jose Alsmith Soria, DAR Regional Information Officer said that the battle of the brains competition is open to all college students. It seeks to encourage the students to appreciate their subject on Agrarian Reform or Land Reform and eventually become advocates of this program of the government.

A total of 32 college students from 12 schools throughout the Region tried to outwit one another during the competition held at the Training Center of DAR Regional Office 8 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon of September 7.

The winners of the competition took home P5,000.00 in cash and a plaque prize while the nine finalists received P500.00 each as consolation prizes.

The Department of Agrarian Reform is the lead implementing agency of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). It undertakes land tenure improvement, development of program beneficiaries, and the delivery of agrarian justice. DAR conducts land survey in resettlement areas.

It undertakes land acquisition and distribution and land management studies. The DAR also orchestrates the delivery of support services to farmer-beneficiaries and promotes the development of viable agrarian reform communities.

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) was created under RA 6389 signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos on September 10, 1971, to carry out the policy of establishing owner-cultivatorship and the economic family-size farm as the basis of the Philippine agriculture and other policies enunciated in the Code of Agrarian Reforms of the Philippines and the mandate of the Constitution of the Philippines of 1973.

Among the programs of DAR is the President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Scholarship Program, which gives free college education to children and direct descendants of CARP beneficiaries.

This educational assistance is envisioned to interface with the improvement of land tenure by addressing the need to elevate the educational status of the farmers to allow their children assume greater responsibility for progress and responsibility. The PDMASP also aims to develop a poll of highly motivated and educated dependents of Agrarian Reform Beneficiariess equipped with appropriate farming technologies.

The implementation of PDMASP is in partnership with state universities and colleges and in line with the 10-point priority agenda of the Arroyo Administration to provide educational scholarship to the deserving children of poor families.

This was launched in 2003 in honor of President Diosdado Macapagal who himself was a son of a farmer, and who signed the agrarian reform program in the country in 1963 through Republic Act 3844 also known as the Agricultural Land Reform Code.

At present, there are about 1,787 agraryo iskolars nationwide enrolled in agriculture related courses in different state schools and universities in the country. They are provided under the PDMASP with free tuition fee, book allowance every semester and modest monthly allowance.

Another DAR Program is that of the KALAHI ARZones which is envisioned to be the hub of agro-development to pool and maximize DAR's support services to farmer-beneficiaries.

KALAHI ARZones is an expanded Agrarian Reform Community, a cluster of contiguous land-reformed barangays, which was conceptualized as the focal point of the rural development program of former President Ramos administration. This concept boosted the support services with the help of the donor community. Ninety-one KARZones have already been delineated covering an area of 7.36 million hectares in 402 municipalities involving 9,367 barangays. These should potentially benefit 2.065 million beneficiaries

Greater Medical Assistance (GMA) sa Bayan-Anihan is a program of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to provide medical assistance to indigent Filipinos. In support to this project, DAR initiated GMA sa Bayan-Anihan which aims to provide medical assistance to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries and their household; to enhance the ability of ARB to be more economically productive and defray cost of hospitalization expenses.

This is through social health insurance and Philippine Health Insurance (Philhealth) with the collaboration of local government units (LGU), and the ARB organization. A feature of this program is a community health care delivery and self-financing system. (PIA 8) [top]

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