Luisita beneficiaries sold, leased lots: DAR

>> Tuesday, May 2, 2017

TARLAC CITY -- Around 83 percent of farm workers  in Hacienda Luisita are not cultivating the land awarded to them.
A fact-finding inquiry conducted by a team from the Department of Agrarian Reform showed that the farm lots awarded to around 4,000 farm workers in the sugar estate were either leased or sold. The DAR team interviewed 5,031 agrarian reform beneficiaries.
Marcos Risonar Jr., Luisita task force chairman and DAR undersecretary for field operations, said 2,800 beneficiaries rented out their lots while 600 sold them to third-party buyers.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered the inquiry to check the status of the awarded lots and determine potential areas for acquisition and distribution by the government.
A report of the DAR team mentioned “influential personalities and politicians” as among those who bought or leased the lots.
Illness in the family and lack of funds to support agricultural production were among the reasons cited for the conveyance of the land. Beneficiaries were not aware of a 10-year prohibition on the lease and sale of awarded land, the report said.
At least 2,000 beneficiaries in Barangays Mabilog, Pando and Motrico in Tarlac City rented out their lots. A majority of the beneficiaries in Barangay Pando said a “prominent political clan” in Tarlac is renting their lots for P7,000 a year.
Beneficiaries in Barangays Cutcut ll and Mapalacsiao have the most number of lots sold.
Only 117 of 236 beneficiaries in Barangay Bantog are using their lots for agricultural purposes.


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