President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the distribution of the Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) of Cotabato Province in a ceremony at the Provincial Gymnasium, Capitol Compound in Kidapawan City, Cotabato on December 29, 2018 Saturday afternoon, telling beneficiaries to use the land so they could get out of poverty.
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Speaking during the distribution ceremonies at the Amas provincial gymnasium in Barangay Amas in Kidapawan City, President Duterte also lambasted the communist rebels for “poisoning the minds” of poor farmers to rise up against the government.
President Duterte said as long as agrarian issues exist in the countryside, the problem of peace and order will remain.
“When everybody is working and earning, I think this will bring us peace,” President Duterte said.
In a briefer distributed to reporters, the distribution of CLOAs aims to improve the livelihood of the local farmers as part of the government’s implementation of programs in alleviating poverty and assuring land security for the ARBs.
Following his speech, the President had a ceremonial turnover of CLOA to 5,624 agrarian reform beneficiaries in North Cotabato’s 17 towns and one-city component area.
The CLOAs cover 9,031 hectares of land acquired through the land acquisition and distribution program of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program areas.
“We will continue the land reform program as fast as we can,” he assured the farmers.
The President also awarded land titles to 800 ARBs for the 2,412.1-hectare settlement area in the upland town of Alamada. Each CLOA consists of a land parcel of up to three hectares.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said it was the biggest CLOA distribution program of the country in CARP history.
Engr. Reynaldo Anfone of DAR-North Cotabato, in a statement, said the program is expected to promote peace and order stability in the area because the people and the farmer’s focus is shifted to more productive activities of farming in their own lands.
Before President Duterte’s arrival, the DAR secretary led the turnover of five dump trucks to various agrarian reform communities in the SOCCSKSARGEN region.