TABUK CITY, Kalinga – Agrarian Reform Secretary Conrado Estrella III was formally adopted by the local government as its son during the Agrarian Reform, Farmers and Cooperatives Day in celebration of the 22nd Matagoan festival.
Secretary Estrella was also given the name ‘Agsingan’ which means a brave leader, a hunter and a respected tribal elder.
The adoption of the Secretary as a son of Tabuk was embodied in a resolution passed by the city council in recognition of his efforts to distribute the available lands being tilled by the farmers for free with the corresponding Certificate of Land ownership Award (CLOA) which will be in the possession of the awardee.
City officials led by Mayor Darwin C. Estran֮ero clothed Secretary Estrella with the appropriate attire of a tribal leader that included his head gear and G-string that symbolizes his belongingness to the people of Tabuk.
In response, the DAR Secretary Estrella expressed his gratitude to the people and officialdom of Tabuk for warmly welcoming him in his first visit to the city after nearly four decades and for adopting him as a son of the city.
“I am amazed on the extent of development that Tabuk has achieved through the years. We believe that the city will surely grow into one of the country’s well-developed cities which will be beneficial to the residents,” Secretary Estrella stressed.
He narrated that when he visited Tabuk in 1984, there were only few commercial structures that were existing aside from the presence of grasslands and rice farms in certain areas but in his latest visit to the city, he described the state of development that had unfolded as ‘enormous’ that will surely continue in the coming years due to the aggressive efforts of the local government to entice investors to establish their businesses in the different parts of Tabuk.
Republic Act (RA) 533 signed on June 16, 1950 established Tabuk as a municipality while RA 9404 signed on June 24, 2007 converted Tabuk into a component city of Kalinga.
Currently, Tabuk is known as the rice granary of the cordillera because of the presence of tens of thousands of hectares of agricultural farms used for rice production over the past several decades.
Further, the Regional Development Council (RDC) in the Cordillera is grooming Tabuk as the future regional center of the Cordillera once the renewed quest for autonomy will be ratified by the people during a plebiscite that will be scheduled for the ratification of the autonomy law that will be passed by Congress and signed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr..
Secretary Estrella assured the people and officialdom of Tabuk of his future visits to be able to provide farmers with additional support services aside from the distribution of lands that will be covered by CLOAs for the benefit of the agriculture industry stakeholders.
“Expect more of me because we will be working for the welfare of our farmers for them to become more productive in the future,” he added.