Agrarian reform secretary John Rualo Castriones said they have already set aside 20 hectares of land in Busuanga for their planned distribution of farm lands to graduates of agriculture and related courses under a new policy initiative of the national government to encourage agriculture ventures among the younger population.
“Dito ngayon sa Palawan, sa Busuanga, meron tayong nakalaan na almost 20 hectares na mabibigay. Kung bibigyan natin ng tag-iisang hektarya, ang mga agriculture graduates ay nasa dalawampu ang makakatanggap. Meron din tayo nakalaan sa Cagayan Valley, region 2, kung saan sa ating pakikipagtalastasan sa regional director doon ay meron 36 hectares na pwede ipamigay din doon na parte ng isang malaking lupain,” Castriones said in a virtual press conference Friday.
The awarding is in accordance with Administrative Order (AO) No. 3, Series of 2020, adapted by the department in December last year, mandating the agency to distribute unused government-owned lands to qualified agriculture graduates as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
Section 3 of AO No. 3, states that beneficiaries must be graduates of a four-year bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agricultural engineering, forestry, forest engineering, or related fields as certified by the registrar of an educational institution, must be landless and a resident of the municipality where the landholding is located.
A beneficiary may receive up to a maximum of three hectares, he added.
“This is not only in Busuanga and Cagayan, this will be a project in nationwide scope. Ibig sabihin, bawat region na may government owned lands ay mabibigyan ng lupa ang mga agricultural graduates kung sila ay qualified na magkaroon ng kanilang sariling lupa,” he said.
He said that the program will be beneficial to the economy particularly agriculture industry in the Philippines.
“Itong sa Busuanga kasi ay isang government owned land at ang maganda rito, kapag ito ay nasakop namin at naipamigay namin sa mga magsasaka, ito ay walang bayad, libre. Ito ay iba sa programa ng mga tinatawag natin na private agricultural lands under RA 6657 kung saan ito ay babayaran nila ng amortization sa Land Bank,” he said.
Last week, Regional Director Zoraida Macadindang also stated that for prospective recipients should also have the willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land productive, no pending application before DAR as an agrarian reform beneficiary and no pending application or has not been a beneficiary under DAR A.O. No. 03, Series of 1997.