LAOAG CITY, April 21 (PIA) – An executive from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has emphasized the importance of the role of government communicators and urged them to promote the rights and welfare of the farmers.

Undersecretary Luis Meinrado Pangulayan spoke before the information officers of their Department in a recent four-day Nationwide Communication Performance and Planning Workshop facilitated by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in Laoag City.

“Protect farmers and ensure their security, you need to know what is happening in your region as information officers, propagandists, and at the same time witnesses,” said Pangulayan.

Pangulayan, head of the Legal Affairs Office of DAR, is keen in protecting and asserting the rights of the farmers to provide them free agricultural land on their own without the payment of compensation.

The nationwide planning workshop was participated by the Department’s Information Officers (IOs) from different regions across the country who were trained to develop a six-year plan in communicating the Department’s programs.

They were also trained to use modern technology in their advantage since the presence of social media advances the power of information to promote farmer’s rights and welfare and to contribute to rural development.

The IOs were also encouraged to promote the new Thrusts and Policy Directions of the Department which highlights the vision to provide free distribution of agricultural land to the farmers with sufficient support services for them.

“Our role in the next years is to make DAR as genuine agrarian reform. I urge you for active campaign. Uusad tayo bilang isang Kagawaran,” said Pangulayan.

The IOs who participated the training were likewise encouraged to know the happening in their region for their role is to advance the information whether it be in social media, in print, or in broadcast.

Further, Pangulayan also stressed that the Agrarian Reform Program is not for economic development alone but the program’s true spirit is for social justice.

DAR leads the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) through land tenure improvement, agrarian justice, and coordinated delivery of essential support services to client-beneficiaries.

Since Presidential Decree 27 was passed in 1972 which declared the entire country as an area of agrarian reform until 2015, the DAR had distributed 4.7 million hectares out of 10.3 million target for distribution with 2.7 million ARBS.

In 2016 alone, 24,223 hectares of land were distributed to farmers.  (JNPD/CJDG, PIA-1, Ilocos Norte)