Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) are warned against selling or leasing their land for personal gain.
Speaking to the media personnel at the sidelines of the ceremonial turnover and distribution of the certificate of land ownership award on Friday evening, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones said the main goal of the program is land improvement.
“Let us not lose the trust given by the government. We hope that they will not sell it (land) for their personal transactions,” Castriciones said.
“This should be very important for them. Our farmer beneficiaries will now finally have their titles so let us not waste this opportunity to be able to have our own lands already,” he added.
Castriciones also said the farmer-beneficiaries may go to the Land Bank of the Philippines for financial assistance as they have specific programs for the ARBs.
“They can take out a loan like this ‘Afford’ where the Land Bank will lend them money,” he said.
The Afford or Accessible Funds For Delivery to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries or Afford-ARBs, specifically caters to ARBs engaged in rice, corn, and high-value crops production. It offers an interest rate of 6% per annum for short term loans and 7% per annum for long term loans.
Castriciones confirmed that there were instances when CLOA beneficiaries sold their lots to have capitals for investment schemes which are prevalent in Mindanao.
“It couldn’t be helped. But there are laws which allow us to confiscate the land when they lease or sell their CLOA,” he said. “We will then award it to the other farmers.”
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte, in his speech at the event, said he will ask Congress to craft a law that will allow the farmer-beneficiaries to be able to mortgage their titles for land improvement.
“Just wait a little while, we’re crafting the law, I said, that would allow you to use it as a mortgage,” he said.
“But for those of you who are intending the money for other purposes like shabu and cocaine, be careful. Be careful, because I have told you. I have warned many,” he added.
Last Friday, the President attended the ceremonial turnover of 58,387 CLOA covering a total of 102,727 hectares by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to the Department of Agrarian Reform. This will benefit 60,233 farmers from five regions in Mindanao.