The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has issued a new administrative order that awards graduates of 4-year agriculture and other related courses with their own land to cultivate, as the national government makes a bid to revitalize the farming sector with young blood.

Regional director Zoraida Macadindang said in a virtual presser organized by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) MIMAROPA on Friday that under Administrative Order (AO ) No. 3, Series of 2020, adapted by the agency in December last year, unused government-owned lands may be awarded to qualified graduates as beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

Under Section 3 of AO No. 3, 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.

“Ang aplikante dapat ay nakapagtapos ng isang apat na taong kurso na may kinalaman sa agrikultura,” Macadindang said.

Applicants 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.

The benefit is separate and distinct from the award of agricultural lands from the public lands under DAR A.O. No. 03, Series of 1997. Awardees of land under the said program are no longer qualified under this program.

Under its Section 4, the agricultural lands that will be distributed under this program are those areas, which have been segregated from the government-owned lands and titled under the Republic of the Philippines based on E.O. No. 75, Series of 2020 and DAR-DOJ Joint A.O. No. 7, Series of 2019.

“Dapat walang nakabinibin na aplikasyon o naging benepisyaryo ng A.O. series of 1997, ito kasi ay ang mga nauna na binibigyan namin ng mga lupa,” Macadindang added.

She said application requirements such as application form, proof of identification, letter of intent, sworn statement stating he/she possesses each of the qualifications under Section 3, and a notarize Certificate of the Registrar of the educational institution stating that the applicant is a bona fide graduate of a four-year bachelor’s degree may be submitted to Municipal or Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer.

Macadindang urged graduates of agriculture courses to visit the local agrarian reform office and submit the requirements.

She, however, said that as of now there are no identified land holdings to distribute yet because the A.O. was just recently approved.

“Wala pa kaming identified land kasi kaka-approve lang nitong A.O. plus ‘yong days of publication pa kaya wala pa. [But] I am inviting [the public] if you are graduate of agriculture, please visit our offices and submit the required documents. Kung mayron na kaming identified land holding for the agriculture graduates, we can prioritize you but tandaan ang na ipapamigay namin ay ‘yong mga nasa municipalities where the land holdings are located,” she said.