President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday assured the farmers of his administration’s commitment to a “genuine” agrarian reform to give them a comfortable life.
Marcos made the vow during the distribution of around 2,529 land electronic titles (e-titles) benefitting 2,672 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in Davao Region in a ceremony at the Rizal Memorial College Gym in Davao City.
Lamenting that Filipino farmers who feed the nation are considered the “poorest,” Marcos said his administration will take a “whole-of-government” approach to address their needs.
“Nakakadurog ng puso na makita hanggang ngayon na ang pinakamahirap sa ating bansa ay ang ating mga magsasaka. Kayo ang nagpapakain sa amin, hindi niyo mapakain ang mga pamilya ninyo (It is heartbreaking to see that the poorest in our country are our farmers. You feed us, but you can’t feed your families),” he said.
Marcos said the distribution of land titles to ARBs is just the first step in lifting them out of poverty, adding that the government would exhaust all efforts to ease the farmers’ burden.
He also asked the private sector to help the government in providing better incentives to farmers.
“Ipagpapatuloy ko at higit na pagbubutihun ang tunay na repormang agraryo (I will continue and further improve the genuine agrarian reform),” Marcos said.
“Hindi na tayo papayag na ang pinakamahirap na hanapbuhay ay ang pagsasaka. Mahirap naman talaga. Kahit anong gawin natin, mahirap magsaka. Kailangan ng tulong ng ating mga magsasaka, ang lahat ng tulong na maibigay ng pamahalaan (We will no longer accept that the most difficult occupation is farming. It’s really difficult. No matter what we do, farming is difficult. Our farmers need help, all the help the government can provide),” he added.
The event was held amid the implementation of the Department of Agrarian Reform’s (DAR) Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling (SPLIT) Project, which is anchored on improving land tenure security and strengthening the property rights of ARBs.
A foreign-assisted initiative launched in 2020, the SPLIT Project covers around 1.6 million hectares of land benefitting some 1.5 million ARBs nationwide, based on a statement posted on the DAR’s official website.
To date, the DAR has issued and distributed about 91,775 e-titles covering 109,199 hectares of land and benefitting 98,203 ARBs. (PNA)