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PIA Press Release

1,081 agrarian reform beneficiaries to avail of infrastructure support project

by PS Mabaquiao

San Jose, Antique (7 August) -- More than 1,081 Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) in three municipalities in the province will avail of Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project Phase III (ARISP-III) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Marlyn B. Salvani, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II said that ARISP III is a continuation of services previously implemented in other Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) in the past years and has been instrumental in providing access in terms of social services and enterprises/market of local products to people in remote barangays.

A government project with loan from Japan Bank of International Cooperation and the Agrarian Reform Fund, ARISP aims to reduce poverty, unemployment by developing agri-enterprises, making food plentiful and enhancing the enabling mechanism for economic activities, said Salvani.

During the program orientation conducted at Kanyugan Restaurant recently, the Department of Agrarian Reform local office reported the ARCs in the towns of Pandan (Santa-Ana and San Joaquin) with 355 ARBs, Laua-an (Guinbanga-an, Maria and Jaguiquican) with 312 ARBs and Valderrama (Buluangan 1&2 and Canipayan)- 404 ARBs. Representatives from the local government units concerned and partner agencies, the National Irrigation Administration and Department of Public Work and Highways as partner agencies attended the orientation.

ARISP III covers the following project components: Infrastructure Development Support which include Farm to market roads, Agrarian Information and Marketing Center, Irrigation Structures and Potable Water Supply and Institutional Development which covers Primary Cooperative Development and organization of Water User's Group.

Salvani enjoined concerned local government units to come up with Agrarian Reform Community Development Plan stating all proposed infrastructure projects and other institutional development needs of the ARCs for funding donors to study the proposals.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the State of the Nation Address reiterated her commitment to uplift the lives of the ARBs. She stressed that "agrarian reform should not merely subdivide misery, it must raise living standards."

"Ownership raises the farmer from his (poverty) but productivity will keep him on his feet. I will continue to do all I can for the rural as well as urban poor. Former tenants must be empowered to become agri-businessmen by allowing their land to be used as collateral. Dapat mapalaya ng reporma sa lupa ang magsasaka sa pagiging alipin sa iba. Dapat bigyan ang magsasaka ng dangal bilang taong malaya at di hawak ninuman. We must curb the recklessness that gives land without the means to make it productive, and bites off more than beneficiaries can chew," the President stressed. (PIA) [top]

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