Land Distribution To Continue Even After June 30, 2014

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06162014 dar web news 1 pix 1DAR’s management reiterated that it will be business as usual for the agrarian reform agency come July 1, 2014. The agency’s officials clarified that DAR can still distribute land even after June 30, 2014 because of Section 30 of RA 9700 or CARPER.

“Section 30 permits DAR to complete the acquisition and distribution of landholdings for which there are pending cases or proceedings. And since a Notice of Coverage initiates land distribution proceedings for lands subject to compulsory acquisition, then all landholdings with NOCs can still be distributed after June 2014”, said DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Anthony Parungao.

Parungao added that the Department of Justice, through DOJ Opinions No. 59 and 60, Series of 2013 concurs with this position. Furthermore, Special Provision No. 2 of the 2014 General Appropriations Act (GAA) explicitly states that “all lands which have been issued notices of coverage and with pending cases and/or proceedings as of June 30, 2014 shall continue to be processed until issuance of the duly registered certificate of land ownership award to the individual agrarian reform beneficiaries in accordance with Section 30 of R.A. No. 9700 and Item IV (A.1) of DAR A.O. No. 2, Series of 2009, as amended.”

Parungao also clarified that the proposed bills pending at the House of Representatives and at the Senate are for the extension of the power of DAR to issue Notices of Coverage and to accept Voluntary Offers to Sell, not for the extension to distribute land since DAR can still distribute land after June 2014 which does not need any amendatory law.

06162014 dar web news 1 pix 2“The DAR wishes to reassure the farmers that there is no need to panic. Even if the NOC [Notice of Coverage] Extension Bill was not passed last Wednesday, DAR can still distribute land. What DAR cannot do after June 2014 is to issue Notices of Coverage and accept Voluntary Offers to Sell unless its power to do so is extended”, Parungao said.

In a related matter, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations, Jose Z. Grageda, denied that as many as 200,000 hectares will not be issued NOCs and thus will be left undistributed after June 2014 as claimed by Representative Teddy Baguilat in a news reports.

“As of May 20, 2014, only 14,085 landholdings covering 88,962 hectares are left for NOC issuance and service or publication. And DAR has continually been issuing NOCs since then. The balance of Notices of Coverage to be served today is definitely a lot lower than that as of May 20. We are consolidating these figures as we speak”, Grageda said.

Grageda also said that from 2012 to 2013, the DAR was able to issue 67,577 NOCs for 628,745 hectares of land subject to compulsory acquisition adding that from January to May 20, 2014, NOCs for 11,178 landholdings covering 108,216 hectares were issued and served/published.