(Cotabato City) The Department of Agrarian Reform in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DAR-ARMM) will hold the first Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) Congress on September 9 at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex here to give a clearer picture on the status of the beneficiaries of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The Congress will provide an opportunity to gather all development practitioners, private groups, and academe that would contribute in shaping the lives of these beneficiaries. This will also be an avenue for prospect donors to engage themselves in building partnership with the ARBs as well as other institutions or agencies that would support their development.
The ARB Congress aims to provide a platform where they can convey their needs, concerns, issues and plan actions to resolve it and determine the support services from the ARMM Regional Government, their respective local government units, DAR, Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and other CARP-implementing partner agencies; to organize the ARB organizations (ARBOs) in the provinces into federation, a mechanism that will assist the DAR provincial offices in consolidating all efforts for the development of their organizations and provide better opportunities; to provide a medium to present CARP situation in the province and plan of action of the ARBOs; to gather data in order to update existing agrarian reform community (ARC) development plans or drafting of it that will be consolidated to formulate the DAR-ARMM Program Beneficiaries Development Plan 2025; and, lastly to serve as venue to distribute certificates of land ownership award or CLOAs to ARBs, and as investment fora or social marketing approach for all development plans for ARCs which the DAR-ARMM drafted.
Consequently, the ARB Congress will be interactive. There will be a participatory and consultative approach among the audience with resource persons and moderators tasked to deliver their respective topics while the participants and guests are given the chance to actively share their views and experiences. A presentation of the plans being crafted by the five ARMM provinces will be one of the highlights of the congress. Eventually, the participants are the ARBOs from the five provinces; DAR national, regional and provincial offices; partner CARP-implementing agencies, specifically CDA-ARMM; the Departments of Agriculture and Fisheries, Social Work and Development, Public Works and Highways, Labor and Employment, Trade and Industry, Environment and Natural Resources, all from ARMM; Land Bank of the Philippines; National Irrigation Administration; civil society organizations; and other stakeholders from the academe and prospect donors.
Hence, the gathering of all ARBs from the five provinces of the ARMM will be the way to make a difference in their lives and unleash their identified needs, issues, and concerns which will be helpful in the society as the DAR strives to do what is best and continues to uphold its mission.
Various interventions are needed to uplift the lives of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) such as construction of farm-to-market roads, post-harvest facilities, provision of potable water supply, even electricity and credit assistance. The CARP status in the ARMM based on the DAR’s data has made a remarkable accomplishment in terms of land distribution. Seventy percent (70.16%) or a total of 263,563 hectares out of the total scope of 375,853 hectares were distributed to 68,087 farmer-beneficiaries. The challenge that ARMM is now facing is the sustainability of the Program in terms of the provision of support services the ARBs need. (By: Geraldine M. Surbano/Bai Shaharazad S. Lidasan)
DAR Sec. Amihilda Sangcopan discusses with stakeholders the issues and needs of an agrarian reform beneficiary organization.
The ARB provincial conferences conducted around the region, which kicked off in Basilan and concluded in Maguindanao, serve as a prelude to the ARB congress.
ARB conference in Lanao del Sur