The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has issued new rules and procedures governing the identification, screening and selection of farmworker beneficiaries (FWB) for haciendas, commercial farms or plantations through Administrative Order No. 10, Series of 2014.
Secretary Virgilio R. de los Reyes said the new A.O. seeks to address issues and bottlenecks encountered by field implementers in finalizing the list of the agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) in commercial farms/plantation. Failure to do so results in the delay in the completion of the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) process.
De los Reyes said the new administrative order applies to all landholdings where master list of ARBs is not yet finalized and those with pending inclusion/exclusion case/s filed at any DAR offices.
He cited the LAD process in agricultural landholdings which were issued with notices of coverage (NOC) and with Letters of Acceptance in the case of voluntary offer to sell (VOS) on or before 30 June 2014, and, those with pending petition/s for coverage and/or exemption/exclusion as of 30 June 2014. He said the process in both instances shall continue even after this date until the same have been awarded to qualified beneficiaries.
He added that the LAD process for hacienda/commercial farm/plantation which may consist of one or several titles shall be undertaken as a whole and not by title or parcel.
De los Reyes further said that all farmworkers who worked on the land on or after 15 June 1988, whether under the landowner or a civil law lessee (arriendador), shall be considered as potential beneficiaries in the Preliminary List of Potential ARBs.
He clarified, however, that dismissed, terminated or retired farmworkers at the time of FWB identification, screening, and selection process can still be considered as potential beneficiary provided they are farmworkers on or after 15 June 1988, meet all the qualifications provided in Section 22 of R.A. No. 6657, as amended, and are willing and able to do farming. Those farmworkers with pending labor-related cases will be considered employed for purposes of identification and screening of qualified farmer beneficiaries.