The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has started the validation of 3,636 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Gen. Trias, Dasmariñas City, and Carmona, Cavite to determine if they are still the actual possessors and cultivators of the lands awarded to them.
Undersecretary for Special Concerns Carim Panumpang said the certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) and emancipation patent (EP) validation process is being pursued by the agency to determine the current situation on the ground that will serve as the basis for any future programs the department may consider undertaking.
“The task of land reform under the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program) is to develop and improve the lands the farmers have received from the government. This validation seeks to find out the problems they are facing so that we could address them and provide them the proper support services they need,” Panumpang said.
Panumpang said that there have been reports that there are awarded lands that are no longer actually tilled, cultivated, or occupied by the registered ARBs.
Under the law, beneficiaries under Presidential Decree No. 27 who have culpably sold, disposed of, or abandoned their land are disqualified to become beneficiaries under the CARP.
Furthermore, under Republic Act 6657, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL), a CLOA beneficiary is prohibited to sell, transfer, or convey the right to use or any usufructuary right over the land he acquired by virtue of being a beneficiary.
“Any beneficiary guilty of negligence or misuse of the land shall forfeit his right to continue as beneficiary,” Panumapang said.
Based on the pilot validation activities in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon area), DAR found out that “awarded lands which are not properly cultivated, if not abandoned, by the ARBs and considerable number of awarded lands were already conveyed or transferred by the ARBs without the necessary DAR clearance.”
“Ang lupang binigay sa inyo ay aming mino-monitor. Ang lupa ay hindi puwedeng ibenta. Puwede lamang itong ibenta with clearance from DAR after 10 years na ito ay napa-sainyo na. (The land given to you is being monitored by the DAR. The land awarded to you cannot be sold. It can only be sold with clearance from DAR after 10 years that it has been given to you,” Panumpang told the farmer-beneficiaries.
“If we find out through this validation that farmer-beneficiaries have abandoned their farm lots or misused it or illegally converted them, the DAR can file a case against them. The DAR has the sole authority to approve or disapprove conversion of agricultural lands for residential, commercial, industrial, and other land uses as may be provided for by law,” DAR Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer James Arthur Dubongco said.
EP and CLOA validation are being carried out in the municipalities of Gen. Trias, Dasmariñas, and Carmona from Oct. 18 to 30.