By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ISTANBUL (AA) - The Bangsamoro autonomous regional government in the southern Philippines is moving ahead with its plans to end landlessness by alloted state land to landless people in the region.
Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim told Anadolu that more than 300 landless families have been granted land.
“There is an ongoing massive distribution of land among landless people,” he said over the phone from Cotabato city, the capital of Bangsamoro, which is home to around five million people.
He said the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) is surveying the land in the region.
Some people are already occupying the land, but they have no ownership, Ebrahim said.
However, the BARMM is surveying other public lands for distribution to the landless people.
“We intend to distribute (plots) to around 1,000 more families,” said Ebrahim.
On Tuesday, the BARMM government issued Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) to at least 43 beneficiaries.
Many of them have been tilling land until now as tenants or workers.
“Take care of your lands. These are now yours, make the most of it,” Minister Mohammad S. Yacob told the allottees.
Yacob heads the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform in the region.
“Less than 20% of people (of the total population) have no land and we are trying to address this problem,” said the chief minister.
“They have to pay nothing … everything is being shouldered by the government of BARMM,” said Ebrahim.
He said those having no land “are qualified to apply.”
In 2018, a decades-long insurgency by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front led to peace negotiations with the Philippines government, and the BARMM was formed in the southern Philippines.