Secretary in the News

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October 10, 2016 50

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 62

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 65

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 43

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 asks Senate for expanded land reform, lower costs for farmers

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 to also help the department in passing a new agrarian reform law that will expand the mandate of the DAR and facilitate the coverage of more than 621,000 hectares of agricultural lands not yet covered by our agrarian reform program," he told the Senate Committee on Finance in a budget hearing.

According to Mariano, the new legislation should consider coverage of lands previously exempted or excluded from agrarian reform coverage, and this should be given to farmers at the least cost, if not free.

gmanewsonline"At present, DAR's legal mandate still emanates from Republic Act No. 6657 or the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988. This law continues to give DAR the power to acquire, administer, distribute, and develop agricultural lands for agrarian reform purposes even after expiration of the period for Land Acquisition and Distribution in 2014," he said. The comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) involves the redistribution of public and private agricultural lands to farmers and farmers and farm workers who are landless, irrespective of tenurial arrangement.

The latest data available shows that a total of 4.69 million hectares have already been distributed from 1972 to 2015 — 2.6 million hectares of private agrarian land, and 2.1 million hectares of non-private lands.

"However, there remain several limitations in our current legal mandate," Mariano said.

One of the issues cited by Mariano is the amortization fee, with only a quarter of the 906,997 beneficiaries being able to complete payment of lands distributed to them.

"When we reviewed the books, it was obvious that our farmer beneficiaries are finding it extremely difficult to pay their monthly amortization. This is a big policy that the legislature should address," Mariano said.

DAR currently has a P10.14-billion budget under the National Expenditure Program (NEP), down by P241.9 million from the P10.4 billion under the General Appropriations Act of 2016. —NB, GMA News