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Feature: Convergence key to solving land feud in Rizal, Kalinga

Tabuk City (15 February) -- Pooling of efforts and resources to resolve complex problems was the key to the resolution of a half a century old land dispute in Rizal, Kalinga. Intercession and support from a team of government functionaries contributed much to the realization of convergence among these stakeholders.

According to a UP study "Making Convergence Work Towards Resolution of 56-Year-Old Land Feud: The Case of Hacienda Madrigal in Rizal, Kalinga," convergence was made to work as a strategy to solve the problem. Cited in the book is how the municipal government under the leadership of then Mayor Marcelo V. Dela Cruz, Jr., paved the way for convergence of various sectors, working together put the issue to rest.

Two student authors, Rosa Cordero and Jeanette Zamudio from the University of the Philippines, Diliman found out that convergence used as an approach in this particular case study worked towards its resolution. The initiative of the Municipal Government of Rizal to intercede started as early as the 1980s during the term of then Mayor Benjamin Jambaro and in the late 80s under former Mayor Efraim Orodio, the findings show.

Sustaining the enthusiasm of stakeholders to find lasting solutions to the land dispute, the study says former Mayor Dela Cruz has to maintain links with the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process, Department of Agrarian Reform, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples to resume the inter-agency initiative.

According to the UP book, convergence in the field of governance refers to collaboration, coordination and unity among all sectors concerned towards the achievement of a common goal. This task has become a buzzword in the implementation of pro-poor programs, but has just blazed a trail in the resolution of land dispute.

Fourteen months after the issuance of the joint inter-agency guidelines, several Land Transfer Issuances (LTIs) were awarded personally by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her visit to Rizal on December 28, 2004. A year later, the 2nd batch of LTIs were also awarded to the beneficiaries by the President

As gleaned from the study, despite the problems encountered, the integrated efforts to resolve the land dispute continued and gained fruitful outcomes which comprise the following: 269 Certificate of Land Ownership Award covering 423.7 hectares to 349 farmers; 779 Free Patents issued by DENR covering 345.4 has. to 779 legitimate beneficiaries; 3 Certificate of Ancestral Land Title covering 270.7 has. to 3 clans/families.

To sum-up, it was gathered by Cordero and Zamudio that a total of 1,0999.8115 hectares had been tenured and awarded to legitimate beneficiaries. What is more important to note is that the claims of 30 out of the 34 plaintiffs and intervenors had been delineated and titled. Written agreements between and among the plaintiffs/intervenors and actual occupants had been forged to settle their ownership dispute.

One unintended benefit of the resolution of the land dispute is the donation of 4.153 hectares idle land in Macutay for the Rizal National School of Arts and Trades Annex. On July 18, 2005, Pres. Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 879 reserving 5.0153 has. land for RNSAT Annex. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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