Landbank turns over 354,783 hectares of land to DAR

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) turned over 208,895 owners' duplicate copies of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Landbank said in a statement on Thursday, July 25, that this amounts to some 354,783 hectares (ha) of land which can be distributed to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). (READ: DAR to further streamline process in land conversion)

Landbank, which turned over government-owned land to DAR last May in compliance with DAR Administrative Order No. 5, series of 2019, came out with this statement after President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the state-owned financial institution for entertaining commercial transactions.

In his 4th State of the Nation Address, Duterte again threatened to abolish Landbank if it does not submit a plan for agricultural aid by the end of July. A day after, Landbank said it will comply with Duterte's order.

Landbank president and chief executive officer Cecilia Borromeo reiterated on Thursday that they remain "committed to serve farmers and fishers, including ARBs, in fulfillment of [their] mandate and pursuit of promoting growth in the countryside."

"We fully support DAR in the issuance of CLOAs and helping ARBs to gain more liberty and control over their lands, through which we hope to increase agricultural productivity," she added.

Landbank is also involved in the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, as it computes the value of the land which will be turned over to ARBs. Earlier, Landbank also said it will tie up with DAR to improve its loan coverage for ARBs. – Rappler.com