In 1998, in my absence and without my knowing it, the Department of Agrarian Reform surveyed my properties in Barangay F. Simeon in Ragay, Camarines Sur. I only came to know about it after seven years.
And that got me into bureaucratic difficulties. To collect and put together all the documents required to get “immediate” approval for my properties being placed under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), I had to travel from Cabanatuan City to Manila (where I am residing) and from Manila to Naga and Legazpi City, besides having to deal with different DAR offices. It took months before I was able to complete (finally) the requirements for the payment of my claim. But after a year of waiting, no payment came.
Other big landowners went through the same experience, for which reason many of them lost interest in having their lands placed under CARP. For which reason, too, the DAR is now having a big problem completing the implementation of CARP.
Landowners needlessly spend a lot of money, time and effort just to follow up their claims, such that by the time they’re paid, the amount they receive can no longer compensate for the time, money and effort they have spent for the filing and continuing follow-up of their claims. They practically have to wait for a year or more to get the final payment (35 percent cash and 65 percent of government bonds payable after seven years) for the claim.
But not everything was a downer, there were some heartening encounters. Like Norma Bodoy, the regional CARP coordinating officer of the Land Management Services of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Legazpi City, who readily helped landowners by providing the necessary documents for the immediate approval of their Voluntary Offer to Sell.
Bodoy would also provide landowners the necessary information as to where they could get certain required documents and whom to approach. Because of this, landowners were able to save time, money and effort.
—RODOLFO S. SIMEON,
Sampaguita Village, San Pedro, Laguna