Secretary in the News

June 26, 2017 535

DAR officials, employees reach 'agreement' on 4-year row

MANILA -- Agrarian reform officials and employees have reached an agreement that would end their four-year row over the plight of 10,000 department employees nationwide who were displaced under the government’s rationalization scheme. Read More..
manilatimes 1
Jun 12, 2017 350

Food firm’s complaint vs DAR officials junked

The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed a graft complaint filed by the Lapanday Foods Corporation (LFC) against Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael Mariano and Undersecretary Luis Pañgulayan. Read More..
business mirror
May 30, 2017 1191

DAR amends rules on adjudication of agrarian law…

TO ensure a just, inexpensive and expeditious determination of agrarian cases, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has amended its rules on adjudication of cases involving agrarian law implementation (ALI). Read More..
May 30, 2017 461

Luisita farmers to stay as lot owners

AGRARIAN Secretary Rafael Mariano said on Friday that farmer-beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita Inc. will stay as owners of lots under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Read More..

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DAR’s Mariano seeks to slash PARC Execom membership from 26 to 12

business mirrorThe 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. Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael V. Mariano said from the 26 PARC Execom members, he wants the membership be reduced to a dozen. “That way, we can work faster,” he said.

Mariano said a draft executive order has been submitted for approval by President Duterte, adding that reducing the number of PARC-Execom members will allow the body to easily muster a quorum.

Mariano said reducing it at least by half is ideal for the body to meet as often as possible and without the problem of mustering a quorum, as previously encountered in the past. He added that an active PARC-Execom will allow speedy resolution of cases involving so-called corporate schemes, which farmers want revoked.

The DAR chief was referring to the stock distribution options (SDO) and agricultural venture agreements (AVA) entered into by the old DAR with various agricultural companies.According to Mariano, a total of 433 contracts covering a total of 57,000 hectares are now under review by the DAR’s policy review and formulation committee, a body which he created “to correct past mistakes”.

DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan said they are currently streamlining the process of resolving petitions to cancel several SDO and AVA schemes, which, according to the farmers who filed the petitions, are not helping improve the lives of agrarian-reform beneficiaries.

“By the end of the year, the processes that would lead to faster resolution of these cases [will be] in place,” the official said.

In Negros the DAR is currently looking into the complaints of some 1,800 farmer-beneficiaries in 11 haciendas owned by business tycoon Eduardo M. Cojuangco Jr. in the cities of La Carlota, Bago and Himamaylan, as well as in the towns of Pontavedra, Hinigaran, La Castellana and Isabela.

The DAR chief said schemes under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (CARL) that allows landowners to skip the actual distribution of lands in exchange for a corporate scheme that gives away shares of stocks to farmers is currently being reviewed by the DAR’s legal and policy teams. The scheme, he said, has been adopted on the 4,300-hectare farms owned by the Cojuangcos in Negros Occidental and are covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

According to Mariano, he received reports that the property was no longer being utilized to grow high-value crops and is being managed by a third party.

“If violations to the CARL are found, we will act on the matter,” the DAR chief said.