A total of 56,000 hectares of unused government-owned agricultural land is being distributed to landless farmers and other qualified beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Land Reform Program (CARP), the Department of Agriculture said. agrarian reform (DAR).
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III said he ordered a rapid inventory of unused government-owned land for distribution under Executive Order 75, Series of 2019, which includes state universities and colleges at the national scale.
The distribution of government-owned land initiated by the Duterte administration was incorporated into the 6-year administration commitment of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.
The DAR leader said there would be no moratorium to stop the distribution of government-owned land, including unused SUC farmland.
The DAR is in the process of assessing the more than 56,000 hectares of government-owned land nationwide, which may be covered by EO 75, of which approximately 26,000 have yet to be validated and targeted for free distribution to qualified beneficiaries, he said.
“We will assess and inventory the CUS covered and identify areas used for agricultural research. Only areas not used for this purpose will be covered for distribution to qualified CARP beneficiaries,” he said.
He added that land that is not used for educational purposes must be included in the land inventory for SUCs, adding that he had already directed DAR field officers to coordinate closely with SCUs so that only those no longer used for educational purposes are included. appear in the inventory.
EO 75 calls on all government agencies to identify, clear, segregate, transfer and distribute government-owned land suitable for agriculture, which is no longer used for the purpose, for which it was reserved and which will be intended for distribution to qualified beneficiaries.
“According to Section 40 of RA 6657, farmland may be distributed to landless veterans, landless surviving spouses and orphans of veterans and landless retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and of the Philippine National Police (PNP),” Estrella said.
Under DAR Administrative Order No. 03, Series of 1997, in addition to AFP and PNP beneficiaries, returnees, surrenders and similar beneficiaries shall be provided with agricultural land.
On the other hand, Estrella said that to encourage young people to engage in agriculture, agriculture graduates are also included as beneficiaries as stated in Administrative Order No. 3, Series of 2020.
“We need a new breed of farmers who will be scientifically prepared and engaged in a scientific method of farming to increase their production and income and thus contribute to economic development,” Estrella stressed.