THE government of President Rodrigo R. Duterte has given out more than 120,000 hectares of land for agrarian purposes, according to the presidential palace.
This was more than any other regime before him, his spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said in a statement on Monday.
“The palace notes that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program was enacted more than 30 years ago but it is only during the Duterte Administration where Filipinos have witnessed a political will from the government to fully implement it,” he said.
Mr. Panelo said 120,889 hectares of land were distributed to 77,275 agrarian reform beneficiaries nationwide between July 2016 and June this year. More than 600,000 hectares of agrarian land were due for distribution when Mr. Duterte assumed office In July 2016, he said.
Under the law, unused public and private agricultural lands will be redistributed to farmers.
In February, Mr. Duterte ordered agencies to identify unused government land suitable for agricultural use and distribute these to qualified beneficiaries.
The Agrarian Reform and Justice departments issued the rules that will implement the executive order in June.
Mr. Panelo noted that at least 300,000 hectares more had been allotted for agrarian reform.
He added that said the government had also given out machinery, seeds, seedlings and farm animals to farmers.
The Agrarian Reform department will ensure that the lands remain in farmers’ hands through follow-through support services. “This is real agrarian reform.” — Gillian M. Cortez