What is DAR? A Brief Overview to Department of Agrarian Reform

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The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is a national government agencies that plays a vital role in the Philippines, focusing on land distribution and rural development. 

Over the years, the department has evolved to address the needs of agrarian reform beneficiaries and improve land tenure security. 

In this article, we will explore the history of DAR, its objectives, programs, and initiatives, as well as its impact and the challenges it faces.


The Department of Agrarian Reform was established as a response to the need for land reform in the Philippines. 

The roots of this need can be traced back to the Spanish period, when the concept of encomienda (Royal Land Grants) was introduced. 

This system allowed a few powerful landlords to collect tribute from the natives, who were transformed into mere share tenants.

Evolution of DAR’s role and responsibilities

Over time, the role and responsibilities have evolved significantly. During the American period, significant legislation was enacted to regulate relationships between landowners and tenants.

The Commonwealth Period saw President Manuel L. Quezon espouses a “Social Justice” program to arrest increasing social unrest in Central Luzon. 

In 1971, President Marcos enacted Republic Act No. 6389, also known as the Code of Agrarian Reform, which created the Department of Agrarian Reform and expanded the scope of agrarian reform.


One of the primary objectives of the department is to provide land tenure security to landless farmers through land acquisition and distribution.

Support services for agrarian reform beneficiaries

DAR also aims to implement, facilitate, and coordinate the delivery of support services to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs) through various programs.

Land tenure improvement and security

Improving land tenure and providing tenurial security for farmers is another key objective of the department.

Career Opportunities

For individuals seeking a meaningful career in the field of agrarian reform and rural development, DAR offers numerous opportunities. 

These may include positions in land management, community development, agricultural extension, policy analysis, and more. 

The department’s commitment to its mission, which includes empowering professionals to contribute to the betterment of rural communities in the Philippines, is a cornerstone of its work.

If you’re interested in exploring a career in this field, consider referring to our application guide to help navigate the opportunities and roles available within the department.

Programs and Initiatives

The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is one of the department’s major programs. It aims to distribute agricultural lands to landless farmers and provide them with the necessary support services.

Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs)

The Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) initiative aims to transform agrarian reform beneficiaries into viable agri-entrepreneurs by providing them with access to support services.

Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD)

The Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) program is another initiative by the department that aims to promote sustainable agricultural practices and enhance rural development.

Impact and Challenges

DAR has reported significant success in its initiatives. For instance, in just the first six months of 2023, it distributed over 49,000 titles covering over 43,000 hectares to farmer beneficiaries.

Challenges faced by DAR in implementing agrarian reform

Despite its successes, the department faces several challenges in implementing agrarian reform. 

These include overlaps between Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) and forest and protected areas, as well as issues related to biosecurity control measures in preventing transboundary animal diseases.


The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has played a pivotal role in the Philippines’ journey towards equitable land distribution and rural development. 

By tracing its history, understanding its objectives, exploring its programs, and acknowledging both its impact and challenges, we gain a comprehensive view of DAR’s significance. 

Moreover, DAR offers promising career opportunities for those dedicated to making a positive impact in the agrarian reform sector. 

As DAR moves forward, it is essential to continue addressing the challenges and building on the successes to ensure a brighter future for landless farmers and rural communities in the Philippines.