Mariano Convenes 1st PARC Excom Meeting For 2017

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DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY (Feb. 17, 2017)—Secretary Rafael Mariano yesterday convened the first executive committee meeting of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC Excom) for 2017.

“The subjects deliberated in this executive committee meeting will be presented to the PARC meeting with President Duterte in Malacanang on February 28,” said Mariano who is the PARC Executive Committee Chairman.
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pangulayan reported and discussed to the committee the recommendations of the fact finding committee on the revocation of the lease agreement on the agri-business venture agreement (AVA) between Marsman Estate Plantation, Inc. (MEPI) and the Davao Marsman Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Development Cooperative (DAMARBDEVCO).

Pangulayan, who heads the fact finding committee, said the AVA has already been revoked by the PARC on September 12, 2016. He said that this is also the date when the PARC resolved to revoke the Lease AVA between MEPI and DMARBDEVCO.

“To resolve the loan obligations incurred by MEPI, we, the fact finding committee recommends that a one year period be given to MEPI to negotiate with its creditors for new terms and conditions due to the termination of the Lease AVA,” explained Pangulayan.

Upon presentation of the recommendation, the body agreed the fact finding committee’s recommendation.

Also discussed was the proposals for the three major credit and microfinance program of the DAR for farmers namely, the Credit Assistance Program for Beneficiaries Development Extension, the Assistance to Restore and Install Sustainable Enterprise for ARBs, and the Enhanced Microfinance Capacity Development Program for agrarian reform areas.

Director for agrarian reform beneficiaries’ development Susana Leones presented first the accomplishments of each programs and then recommended to the executive committee to extend and expand these credit programs.

“After presenting what we have accomplished, the body agreed to extend these programs. These statistics [we’ve presented] clearly attest to the success of these programs in helping our farmers in restoring and installing agri-enterprise and providing access to credit,” said Leones.

PARC Excom member Alex Lorayes of the Land Bank of the Philippines, presented the automated mobile agri-credit facility called the Portable Agrarian Reform Collection System (PARCS) funded by the DAR.

Lorayes said the PARCS was devised for a fast and easy way for farmer-beneficiaries to pay their land amortization using their mobile cellphones.

“The PARCS is now fully operational. Farmers from remote areas are now paying their amortization trough their cellphones. And because it’s SIM-based and wireless, posting and updating of payments are easy and fast,” Lorayes said.

Lorayes proposed to the committee to expand the service by adding a micro-loan facility into the PARCS. “This means that the farmer-beneficiary can also apply for credit and loans using their mobile cellphones,” explains Lorayes. The body agreed to the proposal.

PARC Secretary David Erro presented options in the clustering of PARC members in attending PARC meetings to expedite and facilitate resolution and decision making.

“With the bulk of workload the PARC currently has, grouping the members is necessary so we can attend to all of them,” said Erro.

The committee chose Option 3 which states:
  • There will also be no changes on the present composition of the PARC and PARC ExCom. However, their respective Chairpersons will be authorized to determine who among the members from the national government agencies will be invited to participate in the deliberation of a particular agenda item in the Council/ExCom based on their involvement in the agenda at hand. It is emphasized that the 12 Private Sector Representatives (PSRs) will always be invited in said meetings.
  • The members who will not be invited in the meeting will be furnished with the agenda materials before the meeting to give them the opportunity to comment or submit position papers as their inputs during the meeting. Actions or decisions arrived at during the meeting will be embodied in a resolution. They will also be properly informed on the outcome of the meeting to keep them updated on the development at the PARC/PARC ExCom.
Erro said the issuance of a PARC Directive/Resolution is required to implement this option. (Pinky Roque)

Photo 1: (L-R) PARC Secretary David Erro, PARC Chairman Rafael Mariano and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado Pangulayan.

Photo 2: The PARC executive committee in session.

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