Distribution Of Hacienda Luisita By Middle Of The Year- DAR

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dar web news 3 pix 1 may 17 2013 400The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) reiterated today its intention to complete the process of distributing the land to the farmworkers of Hacienda Luisita by the middle of the year, after the subdivision scheme for the vast landholding was recently completed.

This was confirmed by no less then DAR Secretary Virgilio De Los Reyes, after he signed early this week the subdivision scheme indorsed by the DAR Provincial Office of Tarlac. This entailed a process that required exhaustive preparation, careful review, several meetings, and attention to detail, as more than six thousand lots of more or less equal size had to be carved out of the net distributable area of the landholding. In addition, the scheme was finalized in such a way that all the farm lots have access to either roads and/or fire breaks.

With the finalization of the subdivision scheme, three (3) of the most difficult and time-consuming steps in the acquisition process has been completed, including the posting of the master list of farmworker-beneficiaries and the conduct of the segregation survey done previously.

He also pointed out that the preparation and submission of the required survey returns is now ongoing, and is expected to be completed by the next week or so, after which the various technical descriptions for the 6,212 farm lots will be immediately generated by the survey firm once the Land Registration Authority (LRA) approves them. This process will hopefully be completed on or before the end of the month. Earlier, the LRA had approved the segregation plan for the landholding. The issuance of Republic of the Philippines (RP) titles and Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) will follow in due course.

Meanwhile, various activities are currently being undertaken all at the same time, in order for the DAR to meet its self-imposed deadline, in close coordination with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), LRA, other government agencies such as the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA), National Dairy Authority (NDA), and the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Agriculture Training Institute (ATI), among others, as well as local government officials in Tarlac.

The agricultural support services program for beneficiaries (diversified sugar block farming, among others) has also been firmed up, and a public information campaign for this purpose will be undertaken next week. The social preparation activities for the provision of such support services continues to date, including the collection of prescribed forms for the beneficiaries who prefer to have their respective lots located adjacent to others. This also includes organizing work for the possible formation of appropriate farmers’ organizations that may serve as conduits for said support services.dar web news 3 pix 2 may 17 2013 400

The preliminary valuation work of the LBP is likewise ongoing, with an initial Memorandum of Valuation (MOV) having been issued already. The mechanics of the lot allocation system has essentially been finalized, and preparations for its implementation have already begun. More "pulong-pulongs" with farmer-leaders and/or barangay officials have been scheduled (six were held before). And work flows with the Registry of Deeds are now in place to handle the generation of thousands of CLOAs.

Finally, it was noted that all the parties had finally agreed last month to a process (including the selection criteria), involving the eligibility of the interested firms and the evaluation of their respective proposals, that will result in the selection of the accounting firm that will conduct the special audit of Hacienda Luisita, Inc. and Centennary Holdings regarding the proceeds in the amount of P1.3 Billion arising from the conversion of five hundred hectares and the expropriation of a portion for the SCTEX.

As the facilitator of this process with the concurrence of the parties and in accordance with the directive of the Supreme Court in its final and executory decision on 24 April 2012, the DAR expressed the hope that this agreement will continue to hold, as this will expedite the selection of the firm by early next month at the latest. It noted that the Supreme Court had ordered that the selection of the firm should be approved by all the parties. Otherwise, in the event any and all issues are unresolved, or disagreements crop up among the parties regarding the process or any other related matter, there will be no choice for the DAR but to elevate this back to the Supreme Court for clarification and guidance.