PASSI CITY, Iloilo—The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) conducted a public consultation on the proposed Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11953, or the New Agrarian Emancipation Act, with its stakeholders from Western, Central, and Eastern Visayas on September 1, 2023.
DAR Secretary Conrado Estrella III directed the committee and technical working group to finish drafting the IRR within the sixty (60) day deadline provided for, after its effectivity on July 23, 2023.
“Now that we are drafting the IRR, we want to explain fully the features of RA 11953 to stakeholders, especially to our agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs). This law was enacted for them, it’s only right that we hear what they have to say to ensure that their rights and privileges will be protected,” Estrella said.
At the consultation, the technical working group (TWG) oriented the stakeholders on the features of RA 11593. The TWG also answered their questions and documented their suggestions.
The stakeholders suggested the following: effective condonation of certificates of land ownership award (CLOAs) named under corporations, cooperatives, and organizations, effective condonation to CLOA holders not in actual possession of their lands, just compensation of landowners, and real property tax amnesty.
“Now that we heard their experiences, knowledge, and insights, all these will be helpful in advancing the implementation of the new law,” said Atty. Marjorie P. Ayson, DAR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations, and member of the technical working group.
The public consultation was attended by more than 600 stakeholders, mostly ARBs and representatives from civil society organizations.
RA 11953 condones all the unpaid amortizations of the principal debt, including interest and surcharges, if any, incurred by ARBs. A total of P57.56 billion of unpaid principal debt would be condoned to benefit 610,054 agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) tilling 1.173 million hectares of land.
The seven-man committee is chaired by DAR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Napoleon U. Galit while Landbank of the Philippines (LandBank) Executive Vice President Alex Lorayes serves as vice chairman.
The other members of the committee are DAR Undersecretary Marilyn B. Barua-Yap, National Irrigation Administration Acting Administrator Eduardo G. Guillen, Land Registration Authority Administrator Gerardo P. Sirios, LandBank Vice President Marife O. Pascua, and DAR Undersecretary Luis Meinrado C. Pangulayan.
The technical working group is composed of Dr. Fermin D. Adriano of the Kapatid Angat Lahat Program and Foundation for Economic Freedom, Atty. Christian S. Monsod, former Comelec Chair and Legal Counsel for various farmers groups, Leonardo Q. Montemayor, President of the Federation of Free Farmers Cooperatives, Margarito B. Teves, former Finance Secretary and board member, Foundation for Economic Freedom, Engr. Rosendo So of Samahang Industriya sa Agrikultura, Atty. Kazel C. Celeste, DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations, Marjorie P. Ayson, DAR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations, Atty. Rolando S. Cua, Board Member III, DAR Adjudication Board, Atty. Sheila B. Enciso, DAR Region 6 Director, Jamil P. Amatonding, Director, DAR Policy and Research Service, and Lilibeth G. Lee, Director, DAR Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement.
The committee was created by virtue of a memorandum from the Office of the President issued by Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin, on August 3, 2023, and DAR Special Order No. 508, pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act No. 11953, on August 7, 2023.