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6,212 beneficiaries of Luisita listed

Manila, Philippines – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said yesterday that 6,212 farm workers have been listed as official beneficiaries of the 4,915-hectare Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac.

The final master list was posted in Hacienda Luisita yesterday by DAR Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes.

Based on the Supreme Court (SC) decision, Hacienda Luisita should be distributed to farm workers who are qualified to be beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in 1989, the time of the approval of the Stock Distribution Plan (SDP), that the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) eventually revoked.

To comply with the SC ruling, DAR conducted two rounds of interviews with 8,641 applicants done simultaneously in barangays within Hacienda Luisita.

About 120 DAR field personnel from Tarlac, DAR Central Luzon, and DAR Central Office had been mobilized for the interviews. Last November, DAR released the preliminary list of 5,365 possible beneficiaries.

Delos Reyes said DAR is optimistic that it will be able to meet its self-imposed target to distribute the 4,915-hectare sugar farm to qualified beneficiaries in May or June this year.

The DAR, with the Department of Agriculture Sugar Regulatory Administration (DA-SRA), is already crafting plans for support services programs that will be provided to the beneficiaries. (Ellalyn B. de Vera)