Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya – The once detached and remote barangay of Nansiakan can now boast of motorists and vehicles plying within their vicinities to bring products and commodities of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) to the marketplace, as two (2) tire path projects were turned over recently by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Kayapa town, Nueva Vizcaya.
Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Dindi Tan said the concreted tire paths, both strategically located along the mountainside, are the Monggol Aw-awa in Barangay Nansiakan and the Pallas-Nansiakan in Barangay Pinayag, both in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya.
Tan said the 625-meter Monggol Aw-awa tire path project will benefit 703 villagers while the 450-meter Pallas-Nansiakan, with two units cross drainage, will benefit close to 1,000 villagers, who, for several years had difficulty in bringing their produce to the market.
“People here feel so detached from the town that they have to walk long distances literally carrying their produce to the marketplace,” emphasized Tan.
Tan said the projects, which amounted to P1.1 million each and funded by the DAR and local government unit of Kayapa, hopes to facilitate more seamless marketing and transportation of products by ARBs from their farmlands, especially those living in far-flung interior rural areas to the town’s marketplace.
“These projects are funded under the Bottoms-Up Budgeting, now known as Grassroots Participatory Budgeting for 2014. With this crucial infrastructure project, we are slowly but surely paving the path, not only for the motorists to bring the ARBs products to the marketplace with ease and convenience, but we are also leading our ARBs to their own progress with an opportunity to increase their income and improve their lives. We expect that our beneficiaries will take good care of these projects,” Tan said.
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DAR to organize more ARBOs
In an effort to improve the lives of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the rural areas, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) would intensify the provision of support services by creating more agrarian reform beneficiaries’ organizations (ARBOs) nationwide so that more farmers would gain from it.
DAR Secretary Brother John Castriciones said most of the support given to farmers are passed on through the ARBOs since these farmers’ organizations are usually united in their goals to improve their agriculture and economic lives, thus they know what to prioritize in terms of identifying the concerns and requirements of the organization.
“Provisions of infrastructures, farm machineries and equipment, farm inputs, credit assistance, and livelihood training, among other support services of the DAR are given to ensure our ARBs’ success. Thus, we will see to it that farmer-beneficiaries who will receive their land titles join ARBOs, we will help them to organize through orientations and training prior to the awarding of their certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs),” Brother John said during the 2nd batch of 2020 summative assessment and 2021 planning conference held in Palo, Leyte, on March 1-3, 2021.
The agrarian reform chief added that aside from encouraging new ARBs to organize ARBOs, they would also resolve low ARB membership among existing ARBOs.
Support Services Office Undersecretary Emily Padilla said that as of 2019, the DAR only has 5,662 ARBOs. And as of 2020, the agency was able to organize 1,007 new ARBOs reaching now to a total of 6,669 ARBOs nationwide.
“Because of DAR’s aggressive implementation of support services we have organized more ARBOs and we would continue doing this in the next few years. The more ARBOs we have, the more farmers we can help,” Padilla said.
P2.8M livelihood assistance to boost Negros Occidental ARBs’ lives
Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John Castriciones believed that the lives of agrarian reform beneficiaries’ (ARBs) in northern Negros Occidental would become better after they received a total of Php2.83 million livelihood assistance and support services packages from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Negros Occidental I.
“The DAR not only aims to distribute lands to the landless farmers, we also ensure that the ARBs would be able to enrich these lands and make their lives productive,” Brother John commented on the project turn over which recently transpired in Bacolod City.
Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Rizalina Yuguing from the Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD) said 182 ARBs and their respective families and communities from the six (6) ARB Organizations (ARBOs) would benefit from the livelihood support provided by the DAR under the Convergence on Livelihood Assistance for Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Project (CLAAP).
Included among the P2.4 million worth of assistance turned over to the 5 ARBOs are farm productivity support packages awarded to Ma-aslob ARB Association in Barangay Ma-aslob, Calatrava; Sitio Calaptan Sta. Ana Ascalon Farmers Association in Barangay San Isidro, EB Magalona; and Merian Small Farmers Association, Inc. and Barangay San Pablo Farmworkers Association, both in Barangay San Pablo, Manapla; while a sugarcane production bundle was provided to San Jose United Agrarian Reform Farmers Association in Barangay San Jose, Toboso.
In a separate turnover ceremony, a small-scale duck egg production project worth Php430,000.00 and implemented under the Sustainable Livelihood Support, a sub-component of Climate Resilient Farm Productivity Support, was provided by the DAR to Hacienda Sto. Niño United Farmworkers Association in Manapla.
After the turnover of projects, the DAR conducted technical capacity development, including coaching and mentoring on fertilizer trading and management, enterprise-based organizing, and market assistance for the beneficiaries.
“Our ARBOs would be able to plan, set up, start, and operate their livelihood business undertakings through the provision of seed capital, business training, and technical marketing assistance services,” Yuguing said.
Meanwhile, Manapla Municipal Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ma. Victoria Delgado said they are working to help farmer-beneficiaries optimize the use of the lands awarded to them through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“Our mission is to provide and create income-generating opportunities for our ARBs to help all of them earn a steady and sufficient income through livelihood and micro-enterprises,” Delgado said.