Duterte hands 5,600 CLOAs to North Cotabato farmers, hits NPAs
KIDAPAWAN CITY — President Duterte on Saturday distributed more than 5,600 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in North Cotabato Province.
The President told beneficiaries to use the land to get them out of poverty and resist communists.
Speaking before the distribution ceremonies at the Amas provincial gymnasium in Barangay Amas here, Duterte also lambasted the communist rebels for “poisoning” the minds of poor farmers to rise up against the government.
Duterte said as long as there were land problems in the countryside, the problem of peace and order would remain.
“Whenever there’s land conflict, armed conflict follows,” he said in the vernacular. “When everybody has land to till and when everybody is working and earning, I think there will be peace.”
In a briefer distributed to reporters, agrarian officials said the distribution of CLOAs aimed 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.
The President turned over CLOAs to 5,624 agrarian reform beneficiaries in North Cotabato’s 17 towns and one city, Kidapawan.
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 who waited from him since 11 a.m. inside the provincial gymnasium.
President Duterte also awarded land titles to 800 ARBs for the 2,412.1-hectare settlement area in an upland town of Alamada.
Each CLOA means a land parcel of up to 3 hectares.
Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said it was the biggest CLOA distribution program of the country in CARP history.
Engineer Reynaldo Anfone of DAR-North Cotabato, in a statement, said the program was expected to promote peace and order and stability in the area by shifting the people and the farmer’s focus to productive activities and in farming their own land.
Before President Duterte’s arrival, the DAR secretary led the turnover of five dump trucks to various agrarian reform communities in the Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, General Santos City) Region. /cbb
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