DAR conducts dialogue with Laguna and Quezon farmers to resolve land issues

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) officials led by Secretary Brother John Castriciones conducted a dialogue with the farmers’ groups in the provinces of Quezon and Laguna to resolve their agrarian reform problems, and look for ways to advance their welfare.

Farmer-members of Bukluran ng Mamamayan ng Concepcion Sariaya, Quezon at Pinagbakuran Inc. at Kalipunan ng Manggagawa at Magniniyog sa Niyugan Gitnang Quezon, and those belonging to Laguna are members of Imok ARC Women’s and Farmers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative (IARCWFMPC) were able to raise their agrarian-related issues to the DAR Secretary.

Included among their issues raised is their fear of losing ownership of their lands and their request to continuously be provided with support services, particularly the extension of farm-to-market road in their barangay

Brother John invited the farmers to visit the DAR Central Office in Quezon City where they could rigorously tackle their plan of action and other options in resolving their concerns.

“Let’s set a date where your farmer-representatives, leaders and lawyers could meet me in my office to thoroughly discuss your plight. List down issues you want to raise with President Rodrigo Duterte, and I will give it to him in one of our Cabinet meetings because the farmers are close to the President’s heart,” Castriciones said.

Ka Vangie Mendoza, President of Pesante Pilipinas, said the farmers are now earning more because of the DAR’s intervention which include tractors, capital and other livelihood support the DAR provides.

“Eversince Castriciones assumed his leadership at the DAR, the farmers’ woes were heard and they have continuously received various support services. We don’t need to rally in front of their office. All that we ask is the continuing provision of support because we are beginning to feel the positive impact of their assistance,” she said. 

Support Services Office Undersecretary Emily Padilla said she was touched hearing Ka Vangie’s words because her testimony proves that there is still hope for the farmers.

“Seeing these farmers experiencing better lives gives us more motivation to continue to visit various rural and far-flung areas in the country to listen to their sentiments and be informed of their needs so that we can provide them the proper assistance that would improve their lives,” Padilla said.


DAR, NNC expand coverage of ‘Tutok Kainan’ program in MiMaRoPa region

THE march towards freedom from hunger and poverty is gaining more ground with the signing of an agreement between the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the National Nutrition Commission (NNC) to expand the latter’s feeding program.

DAR Undersecretary for Support Services Emily Padilla hailed the latest collaborative efforts between the DAR and the NNC, dubbed as “Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program,” which has included Southwestern Tagalog (MiMaRoPa) among its coverage areas.

“This program, which is being pursued through the “Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty” would go a long way in promoting the welfare of pregnant women and of children aging six months to 23 months,” Padilla said.

DAR- MiMaRoPa Director Marvin Bernal and NNC- MiMaRoPa Regional Coordinator Ma. Eileen Blanco signed the memorandum of understanding at the BSA Twin Towers in Mandaluyong City.

“Tutok Kainan” is NNC’s response to the ill-effects of COVID 19 pandemic to the vulnerable sectors of the society – the pregnant and the children – as provided for under the Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act. It zeroes in on the dietary supplementation program for pregnant women and young children 6-23 months old.

Since last year, DAR and the NNC have been working together, promoting the feeding program aimed at enhancing the physical and mental being of the people, especially the pregnant and young children in various parts of the country.

In the 2018 study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, it noted the prevalence of stunting among children aged six months to 23 months, 11.5% among 0–5-month-olds, 15.5% among 6–11-month-olds and 36.6% among 12-23 months.

Undersecretary for Planning, Policy and Research Virginia Orogo suggested that: “Our pregnant women and children need healthy and nutritious food and it is here where our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) can do their part by providing them, as much as possible, organically produced vegetables, rice, fish and meat.”

DAR- MiMaRoPa Director Marvin Bernal echoed: “The initiative has a wide-ranging effect as it also benefits our ARBs for opening up a lot of marketing opportunities for their farm products.”

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles agreed, saying that the farming sector, composed mostly of organized small farmers, grossed close to P149 million through institutionalized marketing networks as of December 31, 2020.

NNC Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang said she finds the new partnership between and among various government agencies, the private sector and the civil society as a positive step in licking hunger and poverty – the main reason for the stunted growth of many children in impoverished communities.

NNC- MiMaRoPa Regional Coordinator Ma. Eileen Blanco said she is hopeful that this partnership would lead to the improvement of the condition of pregnant women and to the normal growth of children, “the future of our nation.”

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DAR-Central Luzon soon to distribute government-owned lands as per EO 75

San Fernando, Pampanga. – Department of Agrarian Reform Secretary (DAR) Secretary Brother John Castriciones is set to meet his field officials in Central Luzon on June 11, 2021, to finalize strategies and mechanisms to immediately distribute all government-owned lands (GOLs) in the region.

 “The distribution of idle government-owned lands is a top priority of the DAR Secretary following the issuance by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte of Executive Order No. 75, series of 2019,” DAR Central Luzon Regional Director Atty. Maria Celestina Tam said.

EO 75 directs all government instrumentalities to identify lands owned by the government devoted or suitable for agricultural purposes for distribution to identified qualified beneficiaries.

Tam disclosed that in the province of Pampanga alone, DAR is eyeing to fast track the distribution of around 300 hectares of land within the Pampanga State Agricultural University or PSAU. Other areas she said will follow suit to identify GOLs for possible distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries in their respective provinces.

The Secretary’s visit in the city of San Fernando, Pampanga coincides with the celebration of the 33rd anniversary of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), where a general assembly of all DAR Region 3 officials and personnel will be held.

On this day, Castriciones, together with his other top officials, aside from tackling the major issues in the region, will draw up the necessary measures to ensure a swift distribution of all agricultural lands in Central Luzon, specifically those owned by the government which are suitable for agricultural purposes.