CEBU CITY (Nov. 22, 2017)—Chairpersons of the Provincial Agrarian Reform Coordinating Committees (PARCCOMs) in the country were asked to be vigilant and report cases of illegal land conversions in their areas.
“Report illegal land conversions in your areas,” Agrarian Reform Secretary Rosalina Bistoyong told the PARCCOM heads during the three-day 2017 national assessment here in Cebu City.
Bistoyong who is the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council Executive Committee (PARC Excom) Chairman said the illegal conversion of agri-lands to commercial and others use has limited the production of food for the country.
“Because of massive illegal conversion, we are now having problems on food security. Agricultural lands are decreasing so fewer lands are farmed for food production and livestock raising,” she said.
Bistoyong also stressed the need for agencies of the government, namely DAR, departments of agriculture (DA), interior local government (DILG), land use regulatory board (HLURB), the local government units to harmonize procedures on reclassification of lands, ensuring that in the process, the prime agricultural lands are preserved and lands devoted to other purposes can be properly delineated in accordance with approved land use plans.
“Procedures have to be streamlined so that meaningful development can be pursued side by side with preservation of prime agricultural lands for food security,” Bistoyong explained.
Bistoyong said that in the process of land conversion, large landholdings are removed from CARP coverage. She urged the PARCCOM chairpersons to be vigilant in their coordination and monitoring of programs and policies in implementing agrarian reform in their areas.
“As PARCCOM chairpersons, help us implement the State mandate on agrarian reform so that social justice will prevail,” said Bistoyong.
PARCCOM is the provincial counterpart of the PARC Executive Committee (ExCom) and the partners of the PARC Secretariat. They are tasked with the coordination and monitoring of the programs and activities implemented by the agrarian reform program implementing agencies at the field level.
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