More than 1,000 land titles distributed to Zamboanga farmers

Dynah Diestro, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2018 08:41 PM | Updated as of Nov 12 2018 04:02 PM

Farmers in Dapitan City show their land titles from the Department of Agrarian Reform. Dynah Diestro, ABS-CBN News

DAPITAN CITY – The long wait ended Friday for 938 farmers in the Zamboanga Peninsula who finally received their land titles from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

A total of 1,034 Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) covering about 2,000 hectares of farmland were distributed to farmers in Zamboanga Peninsula.

Among those who received his land title was 70-year-old farmer Esterlito Cabilan, who said he waited for over 20 years.

“I am really happy that I now have land of my own,” said Cabilan, who is tilling a 14-hectare land in Barangay Bag-ong Tudela in Josefina, Zamboanga del Sur.

Farmer beneficiaries were reminded that land titles should not be loaned or sold or government would take them back.

But agricultural land being cultivated by the farmers can be converted for commercial-industrial use as long as they undergo the right process at the DAR.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said the land title distribution is part of government's poverty alleviation program.

"We would want to uplift the economic lives of our farmers because we want them more or less [to] be liberated [from the] so-called bondage of poverty,” he said.