The Department of Agrarian Reform is set to distribute the remaining Yulo Estate to 190 farmers of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, including former rebels, in Masbate.
After the oath-taking of the 190 beneficiaries, the agency will be distributing the remaining 303.0467 -hectare Yulo Estate. Three of the beneficiaries were ex-members of the New People’s Army,
Herald Tambal, agrarian reform program officer II, said the land is a portion of the 1,372.5657-hectare landholding formerly owned by Luis A. Yulo in Barangay Matagbac in Milagros town, of which 1,069.5280 hectares were already distributed to 357 agrarian reform beneficiaries in 1993.
“The subject property was once classified as an agrarian revolutionary area for many years,” he said.
Despite the local rebellion, Task Force Yulo of DAR and the Armed Forces of the Philippines were able to successfully acquire and develop the land.
“The issues in the coverage of the landholding were resolved, including the delays in the conduct of the subdivision surveys due to the anti-reform resistance by local rebels,” Tambal said.
The task of the land distribution to qualified farmers is “inching toward realization” with the completion of the identification of the landholdings for distribution, perimeter surveying, and submission of the survey plans for approval by the task force.
Former New People’s Army guerilla Alyas “Bambam”, who surrendered and made peace with the government under the rebel-returnee program, is one of the beneficiaries of the government’s Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, assuring him a 1.8-hectare land.
“After recognizing the futility of war and fighting, which deprived me of valuable quality time with my family throughout the years, and with the government-promised livelihood opportunities and farmland, which I continue to enjoy to this day, I decided to go back to the fold of the law to start a new life,” said alias Bambam, a rebel surrenderee.
He joined the rebel movement in Masbate when he was 19 years old and served the Malisyang Bayan wing of the New People’s Army for about 17 years. He surrendered last October 2021.
President Rodrigo Duterte directed DAR to distribute agricultural lands to farmers living in areas with armed conflicts and rebel returnees.