NO PROOF: DAR’s ‘single-day, biggest’ 11,443-hectare land distribution
DAR failed to provide exact data pointing to the said 11,443 hectares as the agency’s record-setting land distribution

NO PROOF. DAR failed to substantiate its 'single-day, biggest' land distribution claim

Claim:  The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) claimed in a press release on January 3 that the land distribution which took place in North Cotabato last December 29, 2018 was the single-day biggest distribution in the history of country’s reform program.

President Duterte led the distribution, along with Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, of the 11,443 hectares of agricultural land to 6,424 farmers from 18 municipalities of North Cotabato. 

PRESS RELEASE. DAR boasted its single-day biggest land distribution in North Cotabato


The supposed record-setting feat broke Bukidnon’s previous record of more than 10,000 hectares distributed in September 1990.  

Meanwhile, public officials such as PCOO Usec Lorraine Badoy included the same claim in her January 2 post calling on the media for not emphasizing the supposed single-day, biggest record. The part of her post that included the claim read: “So hindi pala talaga pinansin ang totoong balita: na lampas anim na libong mga magsasaka ang nabigyan ng 11, 443 hectares ng lupa.”

“Isang makasaysayang pangyayari ito at ito na ang pinakamalaking bigayan ng lupa sa pinakamaraming mga magsasaka sa kasaysayan ng repormang pansakahan sa ating bansa.”

Rating: NO PROOF

The facts: DAR failed to provide data to support the claim that the event in North Cotabato is indeed record-setting in the history of the country’s reform program.

When Rappler requested data from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), its Public Assistance and Media Relations Service (PAMRS) office in Quezon City released historical land distribution data from 1972 to June 2018, but the data only presents the comparison of land distribution figures by year.

There was no specific tabulation compiling DAR’s figures in single-day distributions since the beginning of CARP in 1972 up to the present. Embedded below is a copy of the data the DAR released.

The figures for Bukidnon’s 1991 land distribution were not in the data DAR provided as the page that should contain them is missing. Rappler clarified this with the DAR on January 11 and followed up on January 14, but the agency has yet to response as of this writing. 

The PAMRS said the basis of the press release was a statement of DAR Central Mindanao Director Felix Aguhob. 

To clarify this, Rappler also sought Aguhob’s comment. The Director provided a summary breaking down the municipalities, number of beneficiaries, and hectares covered by the December 29 land distribution. The hectares distributed in 18 municipalities and 6424 beneficiaries indeed totaled 11,443.

SUMMARY OF THE LAND DISTRIBUTION. The table shows the breakdown of the number of municipalities, beneficiaries, and area in hectares covered by the land distribution


However, when asked to for basis of the claim, Aguhob said they arrived at this conclusion after the Assistant Director of their Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement (BLTI) asked all regions nationwide if it was indeed the biggest land distribution so far in the history of DAR. 

“Some have replied and I replied that as far as I can remember, 10,000 has was distributed in Pangantucan, Bukidnon on Sept. 30, 1990. It was distributed by the late Secretary Benjamin T. Leong. I was there when this happened being the PARSSO of Bukidnon at that time.” 

Asked for historical data comparing DAR’s single-day land distribution figures, Aguhob could not provide any. – Addie Pobre/

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