Secretary Virgilio R. De Los Reyes

VIRGILIO R. DE LOS REYES, Secretary, DAR (August 2009 up to present)

Secretary Virgilio R. De Los Reyes is the incumbent Secretary of DAR who faces the daunting task of completing the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program with Reforms (CARPER) or RA 9700. With only until 2016 to complete the program, the current DAR management instituted policy and operational measures to speed up land distribution through the institutionalization of the ONE-DAR Concept and the following strategies and interventions:

1. Streamlining of the LAD Process. DAR Administrative Order (AO) No. 7, Series of 2011, simplified the LAD process and shortens the time standard to 182 working days under normal conditions. AO 7 also strengthened the due process requirements in land acquisition and distribution. DAR AO No. 8, Series of 2011 provides remedial measures for CARP-covered lands subject to unauthorized transfers or conveyances, commonly referred to as chop-chop titles. DAR AO 9, Series of 2011 issued last October 2011 provides rules for the survey and field investigation of landholdings where DAR and LBP personnel were denied entry.

2. Inventory and Review of all Claim folders. Mass inventory and review of all claim folders was undertaken from February to May 2012 to determine the actual magnitude and status of the LAD balance identify the issues and problems that need to be resolved so that timely interventions can be provided.

3. Intensification of the Monitoring and Performance of the PAROs and MAROs. The progress of acquisition is being monitored on a per landholding basis and time standards and cost parameters per LAD activity have been instituted to track deviations, immediately identify problems and put in place remedial measures.

4. Systems-Wide Solutions to Problem Encountered in land Acquisition. Global solutions to technical and administrative issues that delay the acquisition process have been put in place and further solutions are explored as well. For this, DAR is working closely with its partner agencies, the Land registration Authority, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP)

Under the ONE-DAR Concept, frontline services are provided where the manpower services are badly needed. Convergent efforts, talents and manpower are shared to help meet targets. Field offices assists each other, Central Office units take on tasks that need global solutions. In other words, the ONE-DAR Concept means that the problem of one is the problem of the whole Department.

Incidentally, it is during the incumbency of Secretary de los Reyes that Hacienda Luisita has been ruled by the Supreme Court to finally distribute the undistributed agricultural lands to the 2,600 plus original tenants, farm workers, farmer tillers of HLI when it scrapped the stock distribution option plan originally opted by the HLI agricultural workers and farmers.

The present administration sets its eyes on the remaining lands to be distributed and slowly but surely closes in on a homerun.