DAR welcomes CBCP call to pass NOC Extension Bill (HB 4296)

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web cbcp bldgThe Department of Agrarian Reform welcomed the support of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) urging the Congress to pass House Bill 4296 or the NOC Extension Bill. If passed into law, the DAR will be able to continue to issue Notices of Coverage (for lands under Compulsory Acquisition) and accept Voluntary Offers to Sell.
President Aquino has already certified the NOC Extension Bill as urgent and the Senate has already passed the bill as early as September of last year. In the House of Representative, the bill was approved at the Committee level and is still awaiting scheduling for Plenary discussions.
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From January – June 2014, the DAR was able to issue Notices of Coverage for 28,000 landholdings with total area of 233,000 hectares. However DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Jose Grageda said that from 36,000 – 50,000 hectares of lands still need to be issued or re-issued Notices of Coverage.
“This is why that the bill is necessary. It would be grossly unfair to the former landowners of the 2.5 million hectares of private agricultural lands whose lands have already been distributed to beneficiaries if government lets go of these 36,000 – 50,000 hectares due to the fact that NOCs were not issued to these before June 30, 2014”, Grageda said.
“We have been actively working with both chambers of Congress to get law passed to allow us to continue to issue NOCs,” Grageda added, “The Senate has already passed its version while we are still waiting for the House to pass HB 4296.”