TACLOBAN CITY- Farmers coming from different towns in Leyte are demanding for them be issued the certificate of land ownership (Cloa) saying without the said document, their security are also threatens.
“The absence of tenurial security has, unfortunately, excluded farmers and fisher folk from services for Yolanda survivors, thereby making the normalization process of affected survivors more difficult,” said Ruelie Rapsing, communications and development officer of Rights Network, a non-government organization that concerns on helping farmers and fishermen hit by Yolanda.
The group has pushed for land and shelter security for the landless victims, to include the full implementation of the government’s agrarian reform program. “My call is for the government to give me security on land ownership. I am afraid that one day soon I will be kicked out from the farm I’ve been tilling for years if they don’t give me the proof of ownership of the land they had longed awarded to me,” said Manuel Cayubit, 46, farmer and village leader in Sta. Rosa, Barugo, Leyte. Cayubit expressed anxiousness of losing his land and not getting long-term recovery support from the government if the Department of Agrarian Reform will not hand him his certificate of land ownership (Cloa) which, according to him, should have been given to him many years ago. Another farmer, Villamor Urena, 58, of Alangalang, also in Leyte, said that government should fast-track the distribution of their certificates, “so we can finally own our land and receive government support services.”
“Yet agrarian officials from municipality to provincial and up to regional office are just giving us the runaround of our request. They said our papers were washed out by Yolanda. Others just told us they cannot answer our inquiry because they are new to the job while others have already retired. All of them cannot give us concrete answer. This problem has to end,” added Urena. Proof of ownership is important so we can also pass this land to our children and to their children, Urena added. Last week, farmers staged a protest to demand for the release of the Cloas that they have been seeking for more than two decades now.
As of press time, Leyte Samar Daily Express tried but failed to get comment from DAR Regional Director Shiela Enciso on this issue. (RONALD O.REYES)