of the Bugho Farmers Association (BFA) savor their firs harvest
after the Department of Agrarian Reform with the help of the
RIGHTS and the Philippine National Police successfully installed
the former to their awarded land under the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program in June this year.
(Jose Alsmith L.
struggle Ormoc farmers start harvesting
By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
October 7, 2016
ORMOC CITY – Rosenda
Apay could not hide her happiness as they started harvesting last week
after having been deprived entry for 16 years to their awarded land
under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program’s (CARP’s) land
acquisition and distribution component.
Apay, 56, was one of the 21
members of the Bugho Farmers Association (BFA) who were successfully
installed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in June to the
25-hectare lot within the Fran Farm in Barangay Matica-a in this city
after several failed attempts.
“Masaya kami dahil nakabalik
na kami pagtrabaho sa aming lupa. Tapos, sa ngayon nag-aani na. Mas
lalo kaming masaya,” (We are happy because we are back working in our
farm. Now, we are already harvesting. The happier we are.) said Apay.
According to her, they will
be harvesting rice in the 25-hectare lot until the last week of
October. Their initial harvest produced 60 cavans.
She also disclosed that they
decided not to sub-divide the 25 hectares covered under a collective
certificate of land ownership award (CLOA) to keep it intact,
preventing the sale of any portion of it by a member of their
association. What they are going to divide is the produce, Apay added.
The members of the BFA were
identified by the DAR in the late 90s to be the beneficiaries of lots
8667-47 and 8667-48 with a combined total area of 46 hectares.
But when CLOAs were
registered in 1999 in the names of the BFA members, the Fran Farm
Workers Association (FFWA) questioned in court as to who should be the
rightful beneficiaries of the said lots which dragged on for 16 years
resulting to animosity among them.
During this period, BFA was
deprived entry into the contested landholding.
The case was resolved only
when the BFA, in a rare gesture of magnanimity and grace, offered the
21-hectare lot to the rival group while retaining the 25-hectare lot
to themselves leading to a compromise agreement in March this year.
Both groups were finally
installed to their respective farmlots on June 13 and started
Apay thanked DAR, the
non-government organization RIGHTS and the Philippine National Police
which continue to provide security in the area to maintain the peace
and order situation.
Apay and FFWA member Medardo
Cabahug, 59, admitted that their groups have already settled their
differences. However, both also disclosed that another group entered
into the scene bringing threats as the latter claims ownership of the
once disputed area.
Meanwhile, DAR-8 Regional
Director Sheila Enciso directed Assistant Regional Director Ismael Aya-ay
to hasten the delivery of the necessary support services needed by