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PIA Press Release

DAR-XI in consonance with PGMA's SONA

by RG Alama

Davao City (31 July) -- The Department of Agrarian Reform in Region XI has taken great strides which have been in consonance with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's mission of uplifting agrarian reform beneficiaries as stated in her State of the Nation Address.

According to Rodolfo Boy Lalisan, information officer of DAR-XI bared that more than 8,000 hectares were distributed to beneficiaries in 2007 or a 101% achievement rate for the year. Lalisan said that 2007 was the banner year for DAR-XI, being the only region that met their target on time.

"Sa SONA noong 2001, sinabi ko, bawat taon, mamamahagi tayo ng dalawang daang libong (200,000) ektarya sa reporma sa lupa: 100,000 hectares of private farmland and 100,000 of public farmland, including ancestral domains." President Arroyo said in her SONA.

"Di hamak na mahigit pa sa target ang naipamahagi na natin sa nakaraang pitong taon: 854,000 hectares of private farmland; 797,000 of public farmland; and Certificates of Ancestral Domain for 525,000 hectares, including over a hundred thousand (100,000) hectares for Bugkalots in Quirino, Aurora, and Nueva Vizcaya…" the President reported.

Aside from land distribution the President spoke about improving the lot of farmer beneficiaries by raising their living standards.

A reflection of PGMA's goals the DAR-XI has been a recipient of about P1.4 billion in foreign assisted projects starting way back in 1996. Among these programs include the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Program (ARISP) and Mindanao Sustainable Settlement ARC Development Project (MINSSAD) of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), the Asian Development Bank-Agrarian Reform Community Program and the World Bank's Agrarian Reform Community Development Project.

These programs have benefited about 111 Agrarian Reform Communities in the Region which has a total number of 103,000 beneficiaries. Average income of ARBs has been pegged at P5, 000 per ARB or about P60, 000 a year. Productivity has also improved particularly for rice farming ARBs which once harvested 50 sacks per hectare now yield 90-120 sacks/ hectare.

In her SONA, PGMA talked about extending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program stating the importance not just on distributing land but also on its very-important support services.

"Ownership raises the farmer from his (poverty) but productivity will keep him on his feet. Sinimulan ng aking ama ang land reform noong 1963. Upang mabuo ito, the extension of CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) with reforms is top priority." The President said in her SONA speech. (PIA) [top]

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