President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Conrado Estrella III will lead the distribution of land titles nationwide to 23,699 agrarian reform beneficiaries, simultaneous with the signing of the New Agrarian Emancipation Act on July 7, 2023 at the Kalayaan Hall of Malacanang Palace.
The New Agrarian Emancipation Act is the fulfillment of the promise made by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., during his first State of the Nation address last July 2022, where he asked Congress to pass the law condoning the debt burden incurred by farmers from land awarded to them under Presidential Decree No. 27, Republic Act No. 6657 and Republic Act No. 9700.
The New Agrarian Emancipation Act condones the amortization of principal payments, interest and penalties on the land they are presently tilling, in what is considered as the most significant piece of agrarian legislation passed since the whole country was declared an agrarian reform area, by then President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr. in October 1972.
The law will benefit 610,054 agrarian reform beneficiaries, whose total payables amounts to P57.55B to the Land Bank of the Philippines.
The government will also assume the obligation of 10,201 ARBs tilling 11,531.24 hectares of land to pay the remaining balance of the direct compensation due the concerned landowners under the Voluntary Land Transfer (VLT) or the Direct Payment Scheme (DPS) amounting to P206,247,776.41 Million.
Of the total land titles to be distributed, 17,837 are electronic land titles (e-titles) under the Support to Parcelization of Lands for Individual Titling or Project SPLIT, benefiting 16,526 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) covering 23,247.5232 hectares of land. The balance are 13,994 emancipation patents (EPs) and certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) benefiting 12,945 ARBs covering 7,378.38 hectares of agricultural land.
In his report to Malacañang, Estrella noted that from July 2022 to June 2023, the DAR distributed under Project SPLIT, a total of 16,445 e-titles covering an area of 22,656.1236 hectares benefiting a total of 15,481 ARBs, and a total of 23,009 EPs and CLOAs covering an area of 23,689.37 hectares benefiting 25,374 ARBs.
DAR Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III said the New Agrarian Emancipation Act is a huge step in achieving the President’s goal of food security for the country and giving importance to the farmers whom Filipinos depend on for their daily nourishment.
Estrella added that the DAR will continue fulfilling the President’s mandate to distribute all available land to farmers and other qualified beneficiaries, clear the backlog of agrarian cases, promote support services including training on modern agricultural techniques, and access to credit facilities to realize the vision of “Sariling Lupa Para sa Bagong Bukas na Masagana” for farmers.
The regional distribution will be conducted by the DAR regional officials and local government unit (LGU) representatives in the following areas: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Newtown Plaza Hotel in Baguio City; Ilocos Region, Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU) Batac, Ilocos Norte; MIMAROPA, AKC Country Homes, Puerto Princesa, Palawan; Bicol Region, Fuerto Sports Complex, Cadilan, Pili Camarines Sur; Western Visayas, Cadiz City Arena; Central Visayas, Uypitching Auditorium, Dumaguete City; Eastern Visayas, Leyte Progressive School Tacloban City; Zamboanga Peninsula, Cultural and Sport Center, Dipolog City; Northern Mindanao, Atrium Limketkai Center, Cagayan de Oro City; Davao Region, Arcadia Event Center, Matina Davao City; SOCCSKSARGEN, Sultan Kudarat Sports and Cultural Complex, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat; and CARAGA, Naliyagan Grounds Capitol Agusan del Sur. Central Luzon and CALABARZON land title distribution will be held in Malacañang.