TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has covered at least 13,705 hectares of farmlands in Eastern Visayas during the first two years of implementation of the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT).

These titles have been received by 4,372 agrarian reform beneficiaries tilling the lands included in the department’s target for individual titling, DAR 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Robert Anthony Yu said in a press briefing Wednesday(Nov.29).

“We started this project in mid-2021 and it was delayed due to (the) pandemic. There are also other considerations, such as the absorptive capacity of other agencies. We are now moving forward at a rapid phase since the Land Registration Authority is already equipped and some survey-related issues have been resolved with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources,” Yu told reporters.

Under SPLIT, the DAR is eyeing to validate and distribute 206,221 hectares of farmlands that were earlier awarded to farmers’ groups through collective certificate of land ownership awards (CCLOA).

Parcelization is a process of subdividing and determining the exact meters and bounds of the areas covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

It also involves the awarding of lots to agrarian reform beneficiaries in a CCLOA, determination of common use areas, portions with common service facilities, and establishment of areas capable of being alienated and disposed of by the government.

“This project will strengthen the ownership of our agrarian reform beneficiaries and the way they make their land productive. This will also help local government units settle issues related to real property tax payment,” Yu added.

Having individual land titles will also allow farmers to access bank financial services.
The SPLIT project is funded by the World Bank with a total project cost of P24.62 billion, comprising 78 percent loan proceeds amounting to P19.24 billion and 22 percent Philippine government counterpart amounting to P5.38 billion.

In Eastern Visayas alone, the funding requirement is more than P1 billion.

The DAR project is done in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Land Registration Authority, Registry of Deeds, Land Bank of the Philippines, National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, and Department of the Interior and Local Government.(SARWELL Q. MENIANO/PNA)