Secretary in the News

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March 20, 2017 17

DAR chief backs return to peace talks with NPA

MANILA — Leftist Cabinet member Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano reiterated his support for the peace talks between the Philippine government and the communist-led National Democratic Front (NDFP), as the erstwhile stalled talks was put… Read More..
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Feb 28, 2017 110

DAR chief: 727-hectare Hacienda Luisita property covered by…

MANILA, Philippines –Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Marianoon Friday, February 24, issued an order that will place a 727-hectare property of Hacienda Luisita, Incorporated (HLI) in Tarlac under the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program… Read More..
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Feb 28, 2017 76

More land for CARP found in Luisita

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has expanded the coverage of agrarian reform in an estate owned by former President Aquino’s family in Tarlac province, marking 384 hectares of idle land in the area for distribution to farmers. Read More..
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Feb 23, 2017 62

DAR chief wants land conflicts resolved following slaying…

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered all regional offices of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to settle high-profile land cases in their areas, following the killing of another farmer-activist last week. The latest incident in Cotabato… Read More..

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DAR requests PRRD to issue moratorium on land conversion

piaQUEZON CITY, Aug. 12 - Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano is recommending Pres. Rodrigo Duterte to issue an Executive Order, calling for a moratorium on the acceptance of application for land use conversion.  

Mariano said the EO should also cover applications for exemption/exclusion of land from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) , other agrarian reform laws and programs.

The moratorium will protect and ensure the rights of farmers. There is a state policy to preserve prime agricultural lands to ensure food security, he said.  

The proposed moratorium was discussed during the recently concluded Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC)  Executive Committee meeting.  

Mariano said he is seeking a passage of the law which will amend or repeal Section 20 of the Local Government Code which authorize municipal and city councils to reclassify agricultural lands into other uses.  

In addition, the DAR will review/revoke conversion clearance issued if the landowners /applicants failed to completely  implement development plan within five year period after the issuance of conversion order.  

He stressed that conversion of lands to non-agricultural uses threatens the very foundation of the country’s food security program since land remains a vital cog in food production.  

Mariano said a directive from the Office of the President, declaring a moratorium in the application for land conversion, could stop the bleeding in the country’s farming sector as the DAR appears to be standing only on one leg in deciding such application owing to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 44.  

The DOJ Opinion states that the authority of the DAR to approve/disapprove land use conversion started only on the 15th of June 1988. This was reinforced in 1993 by a Supreme Court ruling, which provides that land converted to non-agricultural use prior to the effectivity of the Republic Act 6657 or the CARP law are outside the ambit of that law.  

From July 2010 to May 2016, Mariano said a total of 142 applications for conversion of lands to non-agricultural uses were filed before the DAR, of which 101 applications, representing 2,496 hectares, were approved and 41 applications, covering 1,397 hectares, were denied.  

If the trend continues, the government might, as well, kiss goodbye its food security program, Mariano stressed.  

Technology, financing and marketing, three vital components in food production, would be of no use if the lands, the very source of food production were gone.

“Ano pa ang gagawin mo sa damo kung wala na ang kabayo”, Mariano figuratively asked. (DAR)

Source: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1141470919406/dar-requests-prrd-to-issue-moratorium-on-land-conversio