LAND TITLE. Tboli farmer Moda Sagan, 64, proudly shows the title for his 2.8-hectare farm in Barangay Colungulo, Surallah town in South Cotabato. President Rodrigo R. Duterte handed over land titles to over 13,500 agrarian reform beneficiaries, covering 24,000 hectares of public lands in Soccsksargen in a ceremony in General Santos City on Thursday, June 13. (PNA photo by Allen V. Estabillo)
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte vowed to distribute more lands to people through an expanded agrarian reform program.
Duterte spoke to agrarian reform beneficiaries at the city gymnasium on Thursday, saying he directed the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to find all available public lands and “give them to the people.”
According to the President, DAR Secretary John Castriciones begun processing and distributing around 700,000 hectares of lands under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms which has already benefitted over 300,000 farmers.
“My order was for all government-owned lands to be given to you. As long as the land is government-owned, it shall be given away,” President Duterte said. “Everywhere all throughout the Philippines, we are giving away land titles to you.”
The President was at General Santos City to personally hand over land titles that covered around 24,000 hectares of public lands in Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN).
According to DAR officials, it is the biggest turnover of lands under the program so far.
A total of 12,548 certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) were given to 13,585 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the region.
Duterte advised the farmer-beneficiaries to be productive with their lands.
“Stick to the land and plant. That will be your livelihood and source of income even if it’s just small,” Duterte said.