DAR: Luisita distribution finished by 2013

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2012 11:08 AM | Updated as of Nov 02 2012 04:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agrarian Reform expects to finish the distribution of Hacienda Luisita to over 6,000 farm workers by the second quarter of next year.

DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said at least 5,355 farmers are on the preliminary master list while 1,221 are on the provisional list. The preliminary master list includes qualified beneficiaries while the provisional list includes those who still lack documentary requirements.

De los Reyes said those in the provisional list will be given 30 days to prove their claims.

"We posted the list in all 10 barangays of Hacienda Luisita so the farmers can look at the list and see if there is anyone who is ought not to be there. So this is the preliminary list that we came up with,” he told ANC.

The DAR secretary said the department hopes to finalize the master list by year-end. DAR would then hold workshops and support services for the beneficiaries beginning next years.

Meanwhile, just compensation will be given to the owners of Hacienda Luisita.

"Hacienda Luisita can already get the funds that are deposited in their name, if they want to go for a higher valuation...they can contest with the adjudication board, but it will not stop the distribution,” he said.

DAR earlier submitted an 8-page compliance report to the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the high court's April 24 final ruling for the distribution of Cojuangco-owned sugar estate Hacienda Luisita to thousands of its farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs).

"Mandates by the Supreme Court to place the subject HLI (Hacienda Luisita, Inc.) lands under compulsory coverage and to distribute the same to qualified FWBs, this report accordingly highlights the DAR's activities over the preceding 6 months to process and acquire about 4,335.24 hectares of agricultural lands for physical distribution to the qualified farm workers of Hacienda Luisita as of 21 November 1989," the report read.

DAR said that as of Oct. 29, it has been simultaneously undertaking the following major activities, for completion after 6 months:

- segregation and subdivision surveys of HLI lands subject to land acquisition and distribution (LAD) under the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program); and
- the screening and validation of qualified HLI FWBs.

In order to carefully screen and validate the qualified beneficiaries, DAR reported that it conducted 2 rounds of interviews with the farm workers from May 23 to July 22, and from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24. A total of 8,641 persons were interviewed.

Of the number of persons interviewed, 5,169 are common to both the identified 6,296 original farm workers list and the list brought about by the agreement with HLI on the stock distribution plan (SDP). With a report by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News