More than 9,000 hectares of arable land were distributed here on Saturday by President Duterte to landless farmers of North Cotabato.
A total of 5,624 beneficiaries each received a Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
The CLOA recipients included Muslim, Christian and lumad farmers.
Duterte, meanwhile, again lambasted the New People’s Army (NPA) for inciting farming communities to rise against the government using underdevelopment as their main issue.
He blamed the activities of the NPAs in far-flung areas for aggravating poverty.
Security problems, Duterte said, disrupt government efforts to reach out to sectors that need socio-economic and humanitarian interventions.
“As long as the problem about land exists, armed conflicts will continue. When everybody is working and earning, I think this will bring us peace,” Duterte said.
He called on farmers benefitting from CARP to help address poverty in their communities by maximizing the use of their lands for agricultural ventures.