THE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said it will expedite the “parcelization” of collective certificate of land ownership awards (CCLOAs) for the distribution of individually-owned plots to farmers.

Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones said DAR Administrative Order No. 1 clarifies a previous administrative order on parcelization of all landholdings covered by CCLOAs issued by DAR to agrarian reform beneficiaries.

“This move is in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s marching orders for the department to finish the land acquisition and distribution balance by 2024, distribute all government-owned lands and parcel the CCLOAs to the farmer beneficiaries,” Mr. Castriciones said in a statement Wednesday. 

“These guidelines aim to fast-track the parcelization of CCLOAs and the eventual generation, registration, and issuance of individual computerized titles to beneficiaries,” he added.

Mr. Castriciones said DAR provincial offices will conduct an inventory of all CCLOAs within their jurisdictions once the administrative order takes effect.

Following the inventory, the provincial offices will create a list of CCLOAs located within alienable and disposable lands and will be processed according to priority.

“The following order of priority will be 1. Land Bank of the Philippines-compensable lands distributed under the compulsory acquisition or voluntary offer to sell mode; 2. Government-owned lands which include lands within DAR settlement projects and lands turned over to the DAR by other government agencies and institutions are pursuant to Executive Order Nos. 407, Series of 1990, 448, Series of 1991, and 506, Series of 1994; and Kilusang Kabuhayan at Kaunlaran lands distributed pursuant to Presidential Proclamation No. 2282, Series of 1983; 3. Landed estates; and 4. Lands under Voluntary Land Transfer scheme,” DAR said.

Mr. Castriciones said the administrative order was issued due to reports of disputes among agrarian reform beneficiaries with CCLOAs, including boundary conflicts, inclusion or exclusion of beneficiaries.

“If you own part of a CCLOA, it’s hard to make decisions on what crops to plant and how to plan your farm,” Mr. Castriciones said.

In October, the DAR’s Support to Parcelization of Land for Individual Titling project took effect with an approved loan package of P24.6 billion. The project seeks to provide financial support to accelerate the division of 1.3 million hectares of CCLOA agricultural land into individually-titled plots.

“In case of landholdings where there are agrarian reform beneficiaries who were awarded lands covered by a CCLOA and tilling a particular portion of land, the DAR shall parcelize the same based on the actual areas they are tilling provided that each area awarded to ARBs shall not exceed the three-hectare limit,” Mr. Castriciones said.

“Separate (titles) for each farmer-beneficiary are better because it enables them to have a clear and defined ownership of parcels of land,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave