Cotabato City (12 May 2015) – The Department of Agrarian Reform in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAR-ARMM) is working on the distributionof 112, 290 hectares of landholdings covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) in the region to qualified farmers starting this year.
DAR-ARMM Secretary Amihilda Sangcopan said the landholdings make up around 30 percent of the total lands covered by the government’s agrarian reform program in the ARMM that remain undistributed to this day.
She said they are currently “cleansing” the records of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries in the region, which includes the reconciliation of the records in the regional office with those found in their provincial offices.
Sangcopan said it is the first step in the distributionprocess followed by the validation, where they will determine whether the lands subject for distribution is still workable or some issues have to be worked out.
She said they have already started sifting records in the regional office and in the provinces of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. The reconciliation of records in all five provinces of the ARMM, she said, will be completed before the end of June 2015.
The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) covers an estimated 7.8 million hectares of land in the country and 375, 853 hectares of which are in the ARMM. These lands are to be distributed to 68, 087 farmer-beneficiaries in the region.
As of date, DAR-ARMM has already distributed 263, 563 hectares to beneficiaries, which is equivalent to 70.16 percent of the total land subject to the CARP in the region.
Sangcopan said they target to distribute a total of 20, 055 hectares of land this year. The remaining 92, 235 hectares are projected to be distributed by 2016 and beyond.
She said DAR-ARMM will complete the distribution of all lands covered by the agrarian reform program in the region by 2020.
The CARPER law amended the CARP, extending the deadline of distributing agricultural lands to farmers who are actually “landless farmers, tenants, as well as regular, seasonal and other farmworkers.” Its “implementation through land tenure improvement, agrarian justice delivery, and coordinate delivery of essential support services to program beneficiaries” is under the mandate of the Department of Agrarian Reform. (Bureau of Public Information)