Secretary in the News

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October 10, 2016 58

DAR’s Mariano seeks to slash PARC Execom membership from 26…

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is seeking to reduce the number of Presidential Agrarian Reform Council-Executive Committee (PARC-Execom) members to fast-track the resolution of agrarian- reform cases. Read More..
Oct 03, 2016 65

DAR junks ‘lotto system’

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano on Friday stood pat on his ground to nullify the use of lottery draw to allocate plots to farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. owned by the family of
former President Benigno Aquino III in Tarlac province.
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Sep 29, 2016 69

Mariano vows to distribute Palawan’s Yulo King Ranch to…

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano vowed to distribute the controversial Yulo King Ranch (YKR) to landless farmers in Coron and Busuanga in Palawan. Read More..
Sep 28, 2016 49

DAR to help hasten land distribution of YKR lands

QUEZON CITY, Sept. 28 - Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano has ordered the DAR field operations and legal officials to coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to fast-track the process of transfering to the DAR the Yulo King… Read More..

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DAR zeroes in on Cojuangco farms in Negros

sunstarlogoTHE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is continuously monitoring and conducting an investigation to determine if there are really violations in the corporative scheme of the 4,300-hectare farms in Negros Occidental formerly owned by business tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco Jr.

Under the corporative scheme, agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) during the Estrada administration entered into a joint venture with Cojuangco, who capitalized on the land that was voluntarily transferred to farmer-beneficiaries through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

Department of Agriculture (DA)-Negros Island Region (NIR) records showed that the 4,300-hectare Cojuangco farms covered some 1,800 ARBs in seven local government units (LGUs) in the province including the cities of Himamaylan, La Carlota and Bago, and towns of Pontevedra, Hinigaran, La Castellana and Isabela.

Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, who was in Bacolod City Saturday for a dialogue with the farmers of Hacienda Ilimnan in Barangay Sta. Rosa, Murcia, said their agency will make necessary actions on the matter as soon as the validation on alleged violations on the provisions of existing reform laws is completed.

The DAR received reports that portions of these lands previously planted with crops like mango and other fruits were converted to sugarcane fields and were managed by another lessee.

Mariano said the investigation includes identification of the perpetrators of illegal or premature conversion, who will have criminal liability.

“We also need to check whether the land is under a leaseback arrangement or agribusiness venture which should be covered by the new administrative order on agribusiness arrangement,” Mariano said, assuring that “the agency should stand for the rights and welfare of farmers.”

Stock distribution option

Moreover, the DAR chief also presented two large landholdings in the province with a total area of about 344 hectares under stock distribution option (SDO) subjected for final review and deliberation of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) on August 22.

These are the 174.31-hectare Wuthrich Hermanos Inc. (WHI) located in Buenavista, Calatrava town comprising 366 farm worker-beneficiaries; and the SVJ Farms Inc. (SVJFI) with a total area of 170.65 hectares covering 144 farmer-beneficiaries in Barangay Concepcion, Talisay City.

DAR said that under the SDO, which is a non-land transfer program of Carp, the farmers become stock owners, meaning, they are given rights to purchase capital stocks, equities or shares from the corporate landowners and association.

Mariano said the review of the PARC resolution on the WHI SDO stemmed from the petition for cancellation or revocation filed based on various violations including inexistence of SDO, non-distribution of the shares of stock to identified recipients, and no memorandum of agreement for SDO terms and conditions, among others.

For the SVJFI, he cited that the revocation of the SDO plan is based on the grounds like dilution of equity of farmer-beneficiaries, shares equivalent 30.37 percent of the authorized capital stock were given in protracted mode, and non-compliance with its obligations under the agreement.

DAR-Negros Occidental officials said they will just wait for the decision of PARC on the SDO for these landholdings.