Photo: DAR Secretary John Castriciones (DAR Photo)
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) will award agricultural lands to qualified graduates who took up a four-year degree in agriculture or any related field for their economic empowerment and the growth of the nation, as it identified about 230,000 government-owned lands (GOLs) which can be distributed to the qualified applicants.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Brother John R. Castriciones said a person may be awarded agricultural lands acquired by the DAR from unused GOLs and become an agrarian reform beneficiary under the CARP.
Brother John said Administrative Order No. 3, series of 2020, supplied all the requirements to be qualified as an agri-graduate to be provided with agricultural land.
First, the person must be a graduate of a four-year bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agriculture engineering, forestry, forest engineering, or related fields as certified by the registrar of the educational institution where the person graduated; second, the person must be landless; third, the person must be resident of the municipality where the landholding is located; fourth, the person has the willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land productive; and fifth, the person should have no pending application before the DAR as an agrarian reform beneficiary and no pending application or has not been a beneficiary under DAR A.O. No. 03, Series of 1997.
“Nakipag-ugnayan na ako sa Commission on Higher Education (CHED). Kami ay magdaraos ng isang meeting kung saan ang lahat ng Presidente ng state, universities, at colleges ay makikipagtulungan upang maipatupad ang batas na ito para mapalawak ang agrikultura dito sa ating bansa,” Castriciones said.
Castriciones said the country is not lacking in providing educational training to the youth in the fields of agriculture, agricultural engineering, forestry, forest engineering, and related fields.
He disclosed that the CHED reported that for the academic year 2017-2018, there is a total of 26,861 graduates of academic degrees in agriculture from state universities and colleges, other government schools, and local universities and colleges.
Unfortunely, most of these graduates seek greener pastures, not in the agricultural fields. They become employed in the cities or they become overseas Filipino workers. The number of graduates in agriculture and related fields are reportedly decreasing.
“To encourage our youth, to cure the defect, kailangan bigyan ng lupa ang ating mga agriculture graduates upang mapanumbalik ang kanilang kasiglahan sa kanilang pagtatanim at magkaroon sila ng farm laboratory upang magamit nila ang kanilang pinag aralan, lalo na ang makabagong teknolohya para po mapa-unlad ang mga sakahan sa kanayunan,” he said.
Castriciones said all applications for an award under this program shall be submitted to the municipal agrarian reform program officer (MARPO), or in the event of the absence of a MARPO in the municipality, to the Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer II (PARPO II).
The application for an award shall consists of the following: application form, proof of identification; Letter of Intent by the applicant expressing the interest to be an awardee of agricultural land and the notarized certificate of the registrar of the educational institution stating that the applicant is a bona fide graduate of a four-year bachelor’s degree in agriculture, agriculture engineering, forestry, forest engineering, or related fields.