HORACIO R. MORALES, Secretary, DAR (July 1, 1998- February 11, 2001)
It was during the leadership of Secretary Morales that the field personnel were harassed by so many lawsuits filed by disgruntled landowners. Thus, the Agrarian Justice Delivery component was strengthened and enhanced by reinforcing the legal system in order to speed up the resolution of agrarian reform cases. Also, to support the DAR field personnel, the Agrarian Justice Fund and the Agrarian Justice Foundation were created.
With regards to land tenure improvement or LTI, private agricultural lands or PAL which consisted the bulk of agri-lands were to be distributed during Secretary Morales’ governance. To achieve its LAD targets, DAR established two task forces, by type of commodity planted in farm areas, i.e. coconut lands and sugar lands. The objective was to fast track distribution through these land types. Thus, a total of 333, 389 hectares of agricultural lands was distributed or a 9 percent share to the total accomplishment.
For the Program Beneficiaries Development component (PBD), the ARC convergence strategy among DAR, DA and DENR was pursued. This was when President Estrada approved the Convergence Strategy for Sustainable Development of the three agencies through Memorandum Circular No. 1 series of 1999. The DA’s Strategic Agricultural Fisheries Development Zones (SAFDZs), the DAR’s Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) and the DENR’s National Integrated Protected Areas (NIPAS) were consolidated to promote sustainable and integrated area development.