Nida Bediores, an agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) from Barangay Maligaya in the town of Aborlan in Palawan. | Photo from the Department of Agrarian Reform

Nida Bediores was full of gratitude and smiles when she was interviewed by the agrarian reform department and the World Bank for the land parcelization under SPLIT, or the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling project.

The agrarian reform beneficiary (ARB) from Barangay Maligaya in Aborlan town in southern Palawan explained to representatives from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the World Bank that although their family had been working their land for a long time, they were unable to claim it as their own because they were unsure of its precise boundaries.

Because of SPLIT, the project on the subdivision of lands and the issuance of individual land titles to ARBs, Bediores said they can now sleep better at finally having legal title to the land they were granted under the collective certificates of land ownership award.

She added that having their names on the title will allow them to pass the land down to the next generation of their families.

Officials of DAR and World Bank with Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates at the Provincial Capitol

“We received our lands in 1990 through collective ownership. We cultivate it but we could not claim the land as ours because we do not have clear boundaries of the land. But now, I am proud to say that I am the sole owner of the property,” she said.

“Thank you to the DAR staff for their great work in implementing the project and also for their effort in coming from time to time in our community to subdivide our lands. I promise to continue making my land productive as it also helps provide for our daily subsistence,” she added.

Bediores is one of the ARBs from Narra and Aborlan, who received individual land titles as a result of the SPLIT project and was interviewed by the representatives of DAR and World Bank.

The World Bank is funding the SPLIT Project, which aims to improve land tenure security and strengthen ARB property rights across the country.

Maria Theresa Quinones, World Bank co-task team leader, stated that this project is more than just ordinary support to ARBs because it provides them with tenurial security, which is lifetime assistance.

“During our interviews to the ARBs, I was touched with their responses because according to them the project gave them hope. After 20 years or more tilling the lands, they never thought that they would be issued with individual land titles,” she said.

Earlier, the delegates paid a courtesy visit to Palawan Governor Dennis Socrates to discuss the implementation of the SPLIT project in the province.

“I commend the DAR and WB for their partnership benefitting our farmers. I support their advocacy in generating individual land titles to our ARBs,” he said.

The DAR was represented by SPLIT Engr. Joey Sumatra, National Project Director and concurrent Field Operation Office Assistant Secretary; Rene Colocar, Foreign-Assisted and Special Projects Office Assistant Secretary; and Atty. Marvin Bernal, Mimaropa Director; while the World Bank delegates were headed by Kathrine Kelm, SPLIT Project Team Leader and Sarah Antos, co-Task Team Leader.

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