DAR gears up for acquisition, distribution of Tadeco lands

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business mirrorTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is set to begin the process of identifying qualified farmer-beneficiaries for the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP)-covered lands of Tarlac Development Corp. (Tadeco) in Tarlac.
Agrarian Reform Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Anthony Parungao said the process of identifying farmer-beneficiaries will generally follow the ordinary process under existing guidelines.

The DAR has issued notices of coverage for a total of 358-hectares of Tadeco lands in Barangay Balete, Tarlac City, on December 17 through newspaper advertisements.

Also, on December 24, DAR field personnel hand-carried the notice of coverage to Tadeco’s office, which the security guard on duty refused to accept because the office is already closed for the holiday season.

Instead, the DAR sent the notice of coverage through mail.

Tadeco is another landholding company owned by the Cojuangco-Aquino family in Tarlac. Its lands were recently identified by the DAR as “CARP-able” after farmers occupying the lands complained a few months ago that they were being evicted from the property.

The said lands, Parungao said, are not part of Hacienda Luisita, which was covered by the April 24, 2012, Supreme Court order contrary to earlier claims by leaders of a farmer-organization based in the former Cojuangco-Aquino sugar estate.

Parungao said that as part of the process, the DAR will conduct a massive information campaign and entertain applications of potential farmer-beneficiaries.

Farmers with no land exceeding 3 hectares may apply to be farmer-beneficiariess in the covered landholding, he said.

The DAR, he said, will also conduct screening, verification and validation to come up with a master list of farmer-beneficiaries.

The preliminary list of potential farmer-beneficiaries will then be posted in conspicuous places in lands to be distributed by the government, as well as the premises of the company that owns the land.

Parungao said there will also be proceedings for inclusion and exclusion, similar to the process implemented in Hacienda Luisita.

The final list of qualified farmers will then be posted by the DAR to notify concerned parties and the general public.

Parungao said the length of time to complete the identification of beneficiaries depends on whether or not there is conflict among the beneficiaries identified in the preliminary or final master lists.

Moreover, he said, “it is still unclear if Tadeco has farmers in the covered landholding.”

“This may complicate the identification of farmer-beneficiaries, but will, nevertheless, not stop the distribution process,” he said.

Parungao added that under law, the DAR is authorized to identify the beneficiaries for Tadeco.

In CARP-covered lands, he said the beneficiaries can come from farmers in the area of the covered landholding if there are no tenants or regular-seasonal farmers and workers in the area.

Meanwhile, he cautioned farmers against encroaching or just taking over Tadeco’s CARP-covered lands, saying such may be a ground for disqualification.

It will be recalled that Tadeco has started bulldozing farms planted to rice and vegetables by farmers who allegedly encroached in the area without the company’s permission. (by Jonathan L. Mayuga, 30 Dec 2013)

Source: http://businessmirror.com.ph/index.php/en/news/nation/25127-dar-gears-up-for-acquisition-distribution-of-tadeco-lands