Secretary in the News

February 09, 2017 53

Unite vs oligarchs, farmers exhorted

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano urged farmers of the Hacienda Luisita Inc. under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program to unite against the landlord oligarchy of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan. Read More..
Feb 01, 2017 46

Mariano probes farmer’s shooting in Negros

AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano ordered on Tuesday an investigation and fast resolution of a land dispute in Negros Occidental, the bastion of vast tracts of haciendas. Read More..
Jan 17, 2017 93

DAR to run after those guilty of illegal and unlawful…

BANILAD, CEBU CITY, Jan. 12 — Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano approved and supported the proposal of Undersecretary for Legal Operations Office Luis Meinrado Pangulayan’s to file cases and prosecute those found guilty… Read More..
Jan 12, 2017 82

“Let us uphold farmers’ rights and welfare”—Sec. Ka Paeng

BANILAD, CEBU CITY, Jan. 11—Agrarian Secretary Rafael ‘Ka Paeng’ Mariano stated this at the ongoing conference for its third level officials to craft the department’s strategic plans and directions for 2017 to 2022. 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.