by Jake Lorenz C. Aldovino
The Regional Convergence Initiative Technical Working Group (RCI-TWG) in Region IV-A Calabarzon will be having its Planning Workshop on Quezon 3 Settlement Project sometime in October this year. In the said activity, the body will be discussing important matters with regards to the implementation of the project.
On top of the list is the appraisal of land resource based on suitability to certain land uses. In line with this, a team was formed to conduct 100% ground validation of areas covered by the settlement project to properly identify and classify agricultural (planted/cultivated) and forest lands and to determine whether or not the areas have a slope of at least 18%. According to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) of Real, Quezon, the project site, the area was characterized as a very mountainous terrain with limited arable/habitable land. This information is a very important consideration in the provision of possible interventions especially in the delivery of support services.
Other concerns that the conduct of the activity aims to resolve are the alleged erroneous awards and demands for distribution of Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) to actual occupants in the settlement area. The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) initially conducted identification, interview and validation of agrarian reform beneficiaries in the area as well as information drive and gathering of pertinent information.
Recently, upon consultation with some of the stakeholders of the project, the TWG was awed by the concern on wildlife posing a great threat to small-scale farmers and is keeping the alarm bells ringing. Monkeys coming from adjacent forest areas have been reported devouring on the crops planted in the area specifically coconut and some other fruits and vegetables.
The abovementioned concerns all demand an immediate action to which the TWG is very much willing and positive to respond to; a challenge to break the back of the beast and contribute to the development in the rural sector.