Some 21 agriculture graduates cultivated some portions of the Busuanga Pasture Reserve for agricultural use after qualifying as agrarian beneficiaries of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Palawan.

Lawyer Marvin Bernal, Regional Director of DAR MIMAROPA, said that the department is assisting those beneficiaries not just with land allocation but with various support services such as machinery and technology.

It is also aligned with DAR Administrative Order No. 3, series of 2020, which awards agricultural lands to qualified graduates or four-year degrees in agriculture or related fields.

“Ang mga in-award sa kanilang lupain ay tinatrabaho na nila and they are applying the new methodologies, mechanics in farming. Ito naman ay ginagaya na ng ibang magsasaka natin sa Busuanga. Ayon sa huling report ay napaka-positive yong pagsasaka nila sa na-segregate natin na lupain para sa kanila,” he said during Kapihan sa Bagong Pilipinas on Tuesday, June 25 held in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

In 2022, agriculture graduates from Oriental Mindoro also received titles out of the 345-hectare distributed lands by DAR.

Aside from graduates, DAR also assists the rebel returnees to become agrarian beneficiaries, wherein 50 of them will also cultivate land from the Busuanga Pasture Reserve. The DAR-Palawan conducts an ongoing farmer beneficiary accreditation in Busuanga town to identify potential beneficiaries of land.

It was after the signing of the Deed of Transfer by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with DAR for the 4,600-hectare land area in Busuanga Pasture Reserve.

“Tapos na ang pagsusukat sa unang lupa, by the way, ang four lots ay pinasok na sa programang SPLIT dahil ‘yong pagbuo ng apat na lote ay pumapaloob sa collective CLOA. Nagkaroon na ng activities sa pagpaparsela ng kanilang lupa. Ngayon ay hinihintay lang ang subdivision plan para magamit na ito at ma-issue na ang kanilang individual electronic titles o CLOA,” Bernal said.

In the entire region, DAR has distributed a total of 7,284 titles covering 8,346.83 hectares, which benefited 7,166 agrarian reform beneficiaries. About 925 of the titles are under the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), and 6,359 are electronic titles (e-titles) of the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) project.

The department is not just focused on land distribution but also on other support for the advancement of farming in the country. It includes capacity development, machinery and equipment, and the construction of bridges and farm-to-market roads, Bernal added.

In Palawan, there are five bridges constructed by DAR under the “Tulay ng Pangulo para sa Kaunlarang Pang-Agraryo (TPKP) project, which is funded by a P60-million budget and located in the towns of Aborlan, Roxas, Sofronio Española, and El Nido. (RPG/PIA MIMAROPA-Palawan)