DAR land distribution in EV now over 300,000 hectares
TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Agrarian Reform in Eastern Visayas revealed that for the past 19 years,
it has distributed more than 300,000 hectares of agricultural lands that benefited over 195,900 farmers.
Joel Alsmith Soria, regional information officer, said that based on their projected agricultural
land that could be subject for distribution under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program of the government, the land distributed
to the farmers represented around 74 percent accomplishment.
“This is rather a satisfactory performance in so far as the implementation of the CARP in
the region,” Soria told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
Based on the projection of the DAR-8, around 432,777 hectares covering in all of the region’s
six provinces, the agency has so far distributed 319,604 hectares of agricultural lots that benefited 195,965 farmers who
were issued of their own land titles.
For the past 19 years of the implementation of the CARP, 133,801 hectares out of the projected
232,192 hectares in Leyte were placed under the program which benefited 96,091 farmers.
In Biliran, 12,333 hectares of land were distributed to 9,788 farmers; 16,634 hectares of agricultural lands in Southern Leyte were distributed to 10,491 farmers.
Meantime, in Samar province, 61,314 hectares of land were given to 27,553 farmers and 21,879 farmers
were given their own lots covering 49,481 hectares in Northern
Eastern Samar, of the 46,041 hectares of lands placed under the program, 30,145 farmers were given their own
The DAR regional office has no available data as to how was paid by the government to land owners
in the course of the implementation of the program for the last 19 years now.
The funds allocated, around P100 billion, for the CARP was sourced from the sequestered alleged
ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their associates.
It was learned from Soria with the decision of the Arroyo Administration to extend the implementation
of the program for another ten years, their agency has projected around 130,000 hectares of land that could be placed under
Earlier, President Macapagal-Arroyo announced her plan to extend the implementation of the program
for more 10 years to push the development of more agrarian reform communities nationwide.
The program is to end by next year.
Zenaida Parama, in-charge of the inventory of lands that could be subjected for land distributions
under the program, said that unlike in the first years of the CARP implementation, resistance among land owners appears to
“This helps, no doubt, for us to implement the program hassle-free. Before, there was strong resistance among land owners, especially the hacienda owners. But for now, “ she said.
But she admitted that they have several cases wherein a farmer-beneficiary sells his right to others.
Parama said that this situation defeats the very purpose of the program which gives landless farmers
a land for them to till and own.
“We have several pending cases regarding this issue,” she said, without giving the
Under the program, agricultural land of five hectares can be subject for land distribution unless
the land owner has children who are actually tilling the lands. Farmers that
benefit the program are given a maximum three hectares of land. (Joey A. Gabieta
– Staff Writer)
DOH launches massive info drive to prevent dengue fever upsurge
PALO, Leyte – Alarmed by 132 reported dengue fever cases in Eastern Visayas this year, the
Department of Health (DOH) regional office has started its massive information drive to the public to prevent more outbreaks
these rainy days.
Teogenes Baluma, DOH regional director, told Leyte Samar Daily Express that the
reported incidents are alarming and there’s really a need to “extend extra efforts” to make the public aware
of the importance of prevention, early consultation and treatment.
Out of the 132 reported cases as of last month, 93 were in Leyte province, 20 in Eastern Samar, seven in Samar, six in Southern
Leyte, five in Biliran and one in Northern Samar. The 75 cases in Leyte came from Tacloban City.
Victims of this acute infectious disease in Region 8 from January to May this year were 6 months
to 49 year-old wherein 62% were males.
Baluma said that the number of incidents in the past five months did not create uneasiness to health
officials since there were no weeks with very high number of cases.
Despite the prevailing problem, there were no reported deaths on dengue fever in Eastern Visayas for the past two years, according to Baluma.
The DOH regional chief said in an interview that since early this month, they have distributed
thousands of reading materials to field offices throughout the region to increase the public’s level of awareness.
The health department has also mad materials for information dissemination through print and broadcast
“This is to prepare for the rainy season to stop the upsurge of dengue fever. We need to increase public knowledge to destroy breeding places of dengue carrying mosquitoes,” he
TO maintain the zero fatality from dengue fever outbreak, the DOH regional office has allocated
P600,000 funds for procurement of medicines for health emergencies aside from the regular supply from the DOH central office.
“We have been preparing for health emergencies especially as rainy season comes into the
region.,” Baluma added.
Dengue fever is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever. Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant
water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc. The adult
mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house.
Symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of high fever which may last 2 to 7 days.
Joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, body weakness, skin rashes, maculopapular rash or
red tiny spots on the skin, nose-bleeding when fever starts to subside, abdominal pain, vomiting of coffe-colored matter and
Outbreak could be prevented by covering water drums and water pails at all times to stop mosquitoes
from breeding, replace water in flower vases once a week, clean all water containers once a week including scrubbing the sides
well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to the sides.
The public is advised to clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect
as breeding places of mosquitoes, old tires used as roof support should be punctures or cut to avoid accumulation of water
and collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collects and hold water. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)
Tacloban parish priest denounces ‘commercialism’ of fiesta celebration
TACLOBAN CITY – The parish priest of the Santo Niņo
Church, Msgr. Benjamin Bacierra, denounced the “commercialism” that prevails during the
celebration of the city fiesta.
But while he bewailed the prevailing commercialism of the celebration, Bacierra grudgingly admitted
that the June 29-30 celebration would not be “festive” without the holding of commercially-laden activities.
“They are making the occasion as a splendid marketing strategy,” the parish priest
of the Santo Niņo Church said in a recently-held weekly media forum “Express it at the Park”
held at the Leyte Park Resort.
Bacierra noted that for the past years now, the city fiesta, which honors Seņor Santo Niņo, has
been commercialized which, he said, has somehow relegated the religious aspect of the occasion.
But still, he admitted that non-religious aspect of the occasion.
But still, he admitted that non-religious activities held during the fiesta could not be possible
without the support of the business establishments.
For his part, Alex Montejo, hermano mayor of this year’s 118th fiesta celebration,
said that while he admitted that commercialism has pervaded the occasion, he perfectly understand while business establishments
are taking advantage of the situation.
“If you are in the business, you will employ every possible strategy to sell your products
and one of which is during occasions where most people congregates…” Montejo, in the same media forum, said.
Eugene Tan, president of the Pintados Foundation, which spearheads the cultural celebration of
the fiesta, together with the office of Rep. Remedios “Matin” Petilla who initiated the Kasadyaan Festival, said
that the religious aspect of the celebration is not being forgotten.
He said that one of the reasons why the cultural activities are being held days before the city
fiesta is to make sure that on the day of the fiesta itself, June 30, all celebrations will be focus on the Child Jesus.
Meantime, Montejo said that he was deeply honored that he was this year’s hermano mayor and
that it was his way of paying “homage” to the Holy Child who “blessed” him so much.
“I am blessed. It is just pay back time for me. I am
very grateful to the Holy Child,” he stressed. (Sarwell Q. Meniano)