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PIA Press Release

Over 50% of CARP lands in Cebu distributed to farmer-beneficiaries, says DAR-7

Cebu City (February 20) -- Over half of the classified agricultural areas in Cebu covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) have been acquired by the government from the land owners so these could be distributed to the farmer agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Stephen Leonidos of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR-Cebu) told members of the Cebu Association of City and Municipal Public Information Officers (CAOCAMPIO) during a recent gathering that out of the 43,995 hectares classified under CARP, about 34,702 hectares have already been acquired by the DAR-Cebu province from the land owners representing 55 percent accomplishment in CARP land acquisition.

Cebu Province has a total land area of 508,839 hectares while categorized agricultural area is 254,034 hectares while the land area under the CARP working scope totals 43,995 hectares, Leonidos bared.

Leonidos said they are fast tracking the redistribution of the agricultural lands to the rightful farmers.

About 23,606 hectares of the acquired agricultural lands have been distributed to the farmer-beneficiaries or 68 percent leaving 11,096 hectares as the remaining balance for land distribution, according to Leonidos.

In a presentation of the CARP accomplishment in Cebu regarding the land acquisition and distribution status as of 2008, 9,293 hectares of agricultural lands still needs to be recovered from the landowners.

Leonidos said last year, about 3,002 hectares were recovered and distributed under the CARP benefiting 3,398 farmer beneficiaries.

Leonidos said the essence of CARP is asset reform specifically the distribution of wealth thus enabling the poor and marginalized to have access of capital resources such as land and money.

The DAR-Cebu Province meanwhile is strengthening the agrarian reform communities (ARCs) which are clusters of barangays where land distribution is almost completed and where there is a strong convergence of services from the different CARP implementing agencies, donor community, local government units and non-government organizations to optimize the delivery of basic social and economic services to create significant impact on the lives of the beneficiaries.

In Cebu, there are 30 ARCs covering 89 barangays in 24 municipalities out of the total 1,194 barangays in nine cities and 44 municipalities. The 30 ARCs cover 56,450.2933 hectares where 38,565.2091 hectares are classified as agricultural land.

The 30 ARCs involve 12,912 agrarian reform beneficiaries and 1,702 small-owner cultivators, this is learned.

One of the special programs of DAR for beneficiaries' development is the President Diosdado Macapagal Agrarian Reform Scholarship Program (PDMASP) where DAR provides educational assistance or scholarship to qualified and deserving children of agrarian reform beneficiaries.

The DAR launched the non-formal education program to help the farmers send their children to college for free. The scholarship program is intended to provide qualified independents of the CARP beneficiaries nationwide the opportunity to enroll in state colleges or universities with college degree courses. DAR will finance the tuition fees, books and stipend of the scholars.

In Cebu, a total of 37 children of intended beneficiaries have availed of the scholarship where 17 PDMASP scholars have already graduated while there are 15 new enrollees and five old enrollees. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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