TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, April 14 (PIA) - In order to address and mitigate the effects of typhoon Yolanda to agricultural tenants of coconut lands devastated by the calamity, an Administrative Order No. 02 series of 2014 has been passed and is now in effect.
In a press conference held recently at Ritz Tower de Leyte, this city, Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Region 8 Director Eliasem Castillo explained the pertinent provisions particularly on the coverage, policy statements and operating procedures of Administrative Order no. 2 series of 2014.
It applies to all tenanted coconut landholdings, with or without a leasehold agreement which have been affected by natural calamities like what happened when Yolanda struck the region.
Castilllo has emphasized that a tenant-lessee cannot be ejected anytime from his farm holding for his failure to pay lease rentals as a result of the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda or any calamity except upon order of the court or an authorized body.
In case the coconut plantations were totally destroyed, it does not mean that the tenancy relationship has been extinguished by the fortuitous event or natural disaster. “A tenant shall have the right to renegotiate a new leasehold agreement with the landowner specifying the new terms and conditions of their tenancy relations or agreement particularly with respect to the payment rentals, planting of crops and change of crops if necessary, and upon agreement,” Castillo said.
However, the official has further explained that this administrative order is not applicable to tenants in rice lands and other crops damaged by the typhoon.
“A.O. no. 2 series of 2014 is clear. It only covers those tenanted coconut lands affected by Yolanda and other natural calamities”, the DAR official said.
To date, the total coconut land area tenanted in Leyte alone is 4, 881 hectares.
It can be recalled that coconut farmers in the region were among those who suffered following the destruction of their plantations in November last year when super typhoon Yolanda wrought havoc in Eastern Visayas and other regions. (PIA-8)