After 16 years of waiting, members of the Bugho Farmers Association (BFA) in Ormoc City are excited for their first harvest this coming month of October.
Rosenda Apay, chairperson of the BFA, happily announced this after thanking the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) for their installation during a dialogue held at the Palo chancery early this month.
Apay, 56, is grateful and relieved that they were finally installed to their awarded lots in Barangay Matca-a on June this year.
Immediately after their installation, the said farmers cultivated the rice fields and are now expecting their first harvest early next month.
Regional Director Sheila Enciso said the installation of the BFA was delayed by a legal battle as the Fran Farm Workers Association (FFWA) questioned in court the selection of the former as agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs).
"It was only recently that the issue was settled amicably when BFA offered 21 of the 46 hectares to the rival group. At present, whatever differences this the two rival groups had are now a thing of the past," said Enciso.
Enciso said the farmers' installation was a collective effort of the DAR with the help of the Philippine National Police, the Commission on Human Rights and the non-government organization RIGHTS Network.
In support to the farmers, Enciso has ordered Assistant Regional Director for Program Beneficiaries Development Ismael Aya-ay to coordinate with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) to extend the supply of water to these areas.
Present at the farmers' dialogue were Assistant Secretary Elmer Distor and Atty. Jobert Pahilga from central office who promised DAR's full support to the farmers.
Source: Philippine Information Agency