A local farmer cooperative group demanded their immediate installation in the lands awarded to them by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).
The group said they were already issued the certificates of land ownership award (CLOA) by the government but their case has been pending for two decades now.
Romeo Ticon, a member of the Ugnayan ng mga Nagsasariling Lokal na Organisasyon sa Kanayunan (Unorka) Mindanao, said land ownership is always an issue among farmers. He said the DAR already issued CLOA to the farmers in Mindanao beginning in 2000 but no land has been distributed to most of them.
“We have the CLOA but we have no land so what we want is to reach out to the DAR secretary that they should help us for an immediate installation of ARBs (Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries) that has already a CLOA,” Ticon said.
Last January, the Supreme Court declared that the (CLOA) is a sufficient proof of land ownership. However, Ticon said it remains a challenge for farmers to fight for their rights.
Ticon explained that before the issuance of CLOA, the government already identified the area with specific agrarian reform beneficiaries to be installed but there are still reclamation processes that are beyond the control of farmers.
“We have members in Unorka Mindanao who have already acquired CLOA issued by DAR. Unfortunately they cannot take over the land because companies won’t hand over the land to them,” he added.
Ticon said these companies are usually banana plantations and coconut farms operating in Davao del Sur.