TACLOBAN CITY- The regional office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) had agreed to hasten the distribution of the certificate of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to farmers who have been deprived of government relief assistance due to the absence of said document. In an interview, DAR Regional Director Shiela Enciso made this disclosure after she appeared before an inquiry conducted by the committee on agrarian reform at the House of Representatives chaired by Rep. Teddy Baguilat, Jr. last Oct.29.
Thousands of farmers in Leyte, who were earlier identified as beneficiaries of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), failed to receive housing assistance from various humanitarian groups as they failed to present a CLOA. CLOA is used as a document to show that the farmers own the lot. The said document is being asked by various humanitarian groups in providing housing assistance.
In the region, Enciso said that they need more time before the remaining CLOAs will be distributed for the reason that they are in the process of conducting an investigation and retrieving some documents under CARP which have been damaged due to the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda. But Enciso said that in the absence of the CLOAs, her office will issue for the meantime CLOA beneficiary certificate that will proved that they are among those who will be given CLOA by DAR. Enciso said that she would inform the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery (OPARR) and to other national government agency to consider the CLOA beneficiary certificate as an alternative of the CLOA.
“We cannot assure that the CLOAs will be distributed within one or three months, that is why will just issue them temporarily CLOA beneficiary certificate in order for them to avail the housing benefits or assistance that they are saying,” Enciso said. Before the distribution of the remaining CLOAs, Enciso disclosed that they will conduct a re-identification of farmer beneficiaries in order to know if those who have applied for CLOAs are still occupying the land covered by CARP. In case that the farmers who applied for CLOAs are no longer occupying the land covered by CARP, the DAR has no other choice but to exclude them from the program. In a data presented by DAR in the committee hearing conducted, there are around 88,000 hectares of Untitled Privately-Claimed Agricultural Lands (UPALs) under the Agrarian Law. (RYAN GABRIEL L.ARCENAS)