Zamboanga Peninsula

Over 4,000 farmers get land titles in Zamboanga Peninsula

Gualberto Laput

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Over 4,000 farmers get land titles in Zamboanga Peninsula

BENEFICIARY. Farmer Ramonito Siocon, 75, stands as he is acknowledged as one of the oldest agrarian reform beneficiaries in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Gualberto Laput/Rappler

The distributed land titles cover at least 7,214 hectares in the Zamboanga Peninsula region

DIPOLOG, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gave out on Friday, May 24, land titles to more than 4,000 farmers from three provinces in the Zamboanga Peninsula as he promised to complete the distribution of a million more throughout the country before his term ends.

The government distributed 4,956 Certificates of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) to the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs). Of these, 3,950 titles were from the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Support to Parcelization of Land for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project, said Rizzel Villanueva, Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer for Zamboanga del Norte.

The remaining 1,006 are regular titles under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, Villanueva said.

GIVE. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gives a farmer from Zamboanga del Sur a title for the land he has been tilling for years. RTVM

“I encourage you (beneficiaries) to develop your land and teach your children and future generations not to abandon the important and dignified farming profession,” Marcos told the farmers who gathered at the Zamboanga del Norte Convention and Sports Center.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III said the ages of the beneficiaries ranged from 30 to 81, and they had waited an average of 30 to 42 years before receiving titles for the land they tilled.

“Daghan kaayong salamat (Thank you very much),” a grateful 75-year-old farmer Ramonito Siocon said when he received his title.

The aging farmer has been planting rice, corn, and other root crops on the property.

Siocon, from Barangay Bethlehem in Polanco town, Zamboanga del Norte, told reporters he could finally legally claim the 1.7601-hectare property that was passed on to him by his father. He said he would soon divide it among his four children. 

Overall, Estrella said, the distributed titles covered at least 7,214 hectares.

Aside from the titles, the government also distributed P15.7 million worth of farm machinery to at least 30 beneficiary organizations.

The machinery includes farm tractors, rice threshers, mud boats, rice mills, floating tillers, pump irrigation systems, corn shellers, water tanks, egg-laying machines, rice harvesters, backpack sprayers, and shredder machines. –

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