PIAGAPO, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–As the government aims to distribute state-owned lands to identified qualified beneficiaries in accordance with Executive Order No. 75, the municipal local government here committed to aid the administration, especially to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR)-10, as such an effort has already reached their locality targeting to cater to potential agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) for Camp Keithley, a military reservation here, in the municipalities of Saguiaran and Marantao, and in Marawi City.
Municipal Vice Mayor Ali Sumandar stressed on behalf of their local government unit (LGU) and constituents that solid support shall be extended in any means to successfully push the program, even if it takes some expenses on the part of the LGU.
“Kung ano ang ibibigay na trabaho ng DAR, susundin namin iyon. Kung ano man ang maitutulong ng LGU para sa magandang pamamaraan na hindi magkakaroon ng problema, gagawin namin iyon to the extent na gagasto ang LGU para lang maituloy ang programang matagal na naming inaasam-asam,” he said.
[Whatever the workload given by the DAR, we will follow that. Whatever the LGU can help for the good means so that there will be no more problems, we will do that [even] to the extent that the LGU will spend just to continue the program we wished for a long time.]
Sumandar stated that while consultations are conducted to identify legitimate ARBs, he does not see any challenge with regards to encouraging the constituents to participate well in the endeavor of the DAR as the people themselves longed for this.
With the onset of the DAR’s validation in their municipality Tuesday, September 28, the vice mayor conveyed his thanks as the government finally heard them and granted their prayers of awarding the landholdings their constituents have been occupying for decades already.
He further stressed that with this effort, the LGU will have, in return, a benefit of increasing their collection of revenue as citizens will already be required to pay their liabilities to the government, including their taxes.
“Kami naman sa LGU, natutuwa rin kami kasi nakakalungkot man sabihin, hindi lahat ng tao ay nagbabayad ng tax declaration. Hindi nila dinedeklara ang kanilang mga lupain. This is the right time siguro na tataas din ang koleksyon ng ating pamahalaan, itong local government unit natin dahil maoobliga na silang magbayad ng tax kasi mayroon na silang titulo,” said Sumandar.
[We, in the LGU, are also happy because it may be unfortunate to tell, not all people pay tax declarations. They do not declare their lands. Maybe, this is the right time that our government’s collection will increase, this local government of ours because they will already be obliged to pay tax as they already have titles.]
Meanwhile, the LGU called on its citizenry to also give their share of support to the administration and the DAR through heeding the necessary measures set by the department in charge as it carries out the program.
“Sana ituloy-tuloy na iyong peaceful na pamamaraan na ibinigay ng DAR kasi matagal na namin itong inaasam-asam na mapush through itong project ng Pangulo. Sana naman, huwag natin ipakita sa administrasyon, sa DAR, na hindi tayo sumusuporta sa mga programa ng pangulo, lalong lalo na sa programang ito na ipamimigay ang mga lupa sa totoong may-ari. I hope and pray na kayo ay sumuporta at makinig kung anuman ang ipapagawa ng mga empleyado ng DAR,” urged Sumandar.
[I hope they continue the peaceful means provided by the DAR because we waited for so long to have this project of the President be pushed. I just hope they will not let the administration, the DAR see that we are not supporting the programs of the President, especially this program of distributing lands to rightful owners. I hope and pray that you support and listen to whatever the task the employees of the DAR will give.]
As disclosed by the DAR, about 4,600 hectares of government-owned lands shall be distributed to ARBs wherein roughly 1,300 hectares of this is situated in the municipality of Piagapo. (CRG/PIA-10/ICIC Lanao del Sur)