ERNESTO D. GARILAO, Secretary, DAR (June 30, 1992-June 30, 1998)
Secretary Ernesto Garilao’s main thrust when he assumed office was to implement President Fidel Ramos’ goal to carry out a faster, fairer and more meaningful agrarian reform program. To facilitate this, various guidelines and procedures were formulated namely: (hyperlink to Issuances) DAR AO 2, Series of 1992; DAR AO 1, Series of 1993; DAR MC 7, Series of 1993; Joint DAR-LBP AO 3, Series of 1994; DAR AO 1, Series of 1995; DAR AO 2, Series of 1995; DAR AO 2, Series of 1996; DAR AO 4, Series of 1996; DAR AO 2, Series of 1997; and DAR AO 8, Series of 1997. Likewise, various guidelines on land acquisition and distribution (LAD) were revised in order to accelerate the pace of land distribution.
Notably, it was during Secretary Garilao’s leadership that DAR created the Agrarian Reform Communities (ARC) approach to Program Beneficiaries Development or PBD. It provided a window for viewing CARP impact on the lives of rural Filipinos. ARCs converted cold statistics into real indicators of equitable growth thru land tenure improvement and the delivery of basic support services. This caught the interests of other developed countries and many foreign assisted projects supported the DAR thru its ARCs in order to accelerate program implementation in the ARCs.
Further, Secretary Garilao pushed for energizing the bureaucracy by upgrading the DAR personnel thru its 3-year human resource development, thus enhancing the capabilities of line executives, middle managers and technical staff. There was also the development of performance contracting for better and clearer accountabilities by the provincial and regional offices.
Through his leadership and through his proactiveness during deliberations in Congress, the Agrarian Reform Fund Bill was approved into law (RA 8532, Series of 1998)
In a span of six years (1992-1998), Secretary Garilao’s administration was able to distribute a total of 1.9 million hectares of agricultural lands or 49% of the total CARP scope. It should be noted however, that around half of the lands distributed during his term were government owned lands or GOLs which did not require compensation from the government.