Secretary in the News

pia
September 22, 2016 24

DAR Secretary bats for new land reform law in Senate budget…

QUEZON CITY, Sept. 20 -- Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano has enjoined senators to pass a new law that will expand the coverage of the government’s agrarian reform program and introduce a free or low-cost land distribution scheme. During… Read More..
gmanewsonline
Sep 22, 2016 19

DAR asks Senate for expanded land reform, lower costs for…

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano on Monday called on lawmakers to pass a new measure which would expand the coverage of the government's agrarian reform program, and lower amortization costs for beneficiaries."(W)e take this opportunity for the Senate… Read More..
TheStandard
Sep 15, 2016 110

Govt eyes 2-year break in farmland conversions

AN EXECUTIVE order is being prepared to declare a two-year moratorium on the conversion of agricultural lands, Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano has said. Read More..
gmanewsonline
Sep 15, 2016 107

DAR to stop processing applications for land-use conversion

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is halting the process and approval of applications on land-use conversion ahead of a proposal to have a two-year moratorium on conversion, a report on GMA News' "Balitanghali" said Wednesday. Read More..

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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/