Secretary in the News

davaotoday
April 18, 2017 4

Agrarian Reform Secretary Mariano to supervise…

TAGUM CITY, Philippines – No less than the Agrarian Reform Secretary, Rafael Mariano will attend the symbolic reinstallation of farmers in the contested San Isidro area inside the Hijo Plantation in Barangay Madaum here Tuesday morning. Read More..
rappler logo
Apr 18, 2017 5

Amid Lapanday 'defiance,' DAR insists farmers must get share

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered the "peaceful installation" of farmers at a Davao del Norte plantation that was earlier the subject of a cease and desist order (CDO). Read More..
inquirer
Apr 18, 2017 6

DAR chief eyes 6M hectares for farmers

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano is looking at some some six million hectares of public and private agricultural lands, some of which have been exempted from agrarian reform, for distribution to farmers. Read More..
TheStandard
Apr 10, 2017 36

Mariano again hits Aquino over sacada in sugar estate

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano hit out on Tuesday former President Benigno Aquino III for keeping silent on the recruitment of seasonal contractual sugar farmers, locally called sacada, from Mindanao at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac. Read More..

Videos of the Secretary

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Apeco officials face charges for agri land conversion

manila bulletin blue logoOfficials of the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (Apeco) will be facing criminal charges for the alleged illegal conversion of a 2.5-hectare agricultural land in Aurora, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) said Thursday. In a resolution dated July 27, 2016, DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered the DAR Region 3, the Provincial Agrarian Reform Office, and the Task Force on Illegal Conversion to “immediately identify the entities or individuals who may be held criminally liable on the commission of the unlawful land use conversion and to cause for the criminal prosecution of the individuals identified.”

This stemmed from the complaints filed by Casiguran parish priest Jose Francisco Talaban and Vicente Convicto before the DAR on Mar. 9, 2013, which claimed that Apeco had illegally converted the 2.5-hectare agricultural land in Sitio Landing, Barangay Esteves, Casiguran, Aurora into a housing project and relocation program in partnership with the National Housing Authority (NHA).

The complainants said that the property was considered a prime agricultural land and is part of an existing agrarian reform community (ARC) which benefits farmers and fishermen in the town. The complaint said Apeco’s actions are also tantamount to threatening food security.

Mariano, in effect, also maintained the validity of the DAR orders dated Sept. 15, 2015 and Nov. 23, 2015 to issue a Cease and Desist Order preventing Apeco to alter or change the use of the property without a DAR conversion clearance.

Apeco is a P1-billion economic zone project created in 2009 by virtue of RA 10083, which expanded the establishment of former Aurora Special Economic Zone thru RA 9490.

NHA and Apeco, despite protests, argued that the said project is legal and property does not require conversion clearance as it is exempted from the coverage of agrarian reform program by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1472.

Mariano, meanwhile, recounted that former DOJ Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima in a DOJ opinion dated August 5, 2015 said the amended RA 9490 does not exempt lands covered by Apeco from the coverage of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) or RA 6657.

He said the DAR Secretary has the authority in the conversion of all agricultural lands not yet re-classified as industrial, commercial or residential uses upon the passage of CARL.

Source: http://www.mb.com.ph/apeco-officials-face-charges-for-agri-land-conversion-dar/