THE DEPARTMENT of Agrarian Reform (DAR is positive it can achieve the complete acquisition and distribution of land under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by 2022.
“There are three things that the administration of President Duterte wants us to accomplish. First is the distribution of government-owned lands as mandated under Executive Order No. 75, second, the parcellation of collective CLOAs (certificate of land ownership awards), and most of all, ensuring that the country is LAD (land acquisition and distribution) Free by 2022,” DAR Secretary John R. Castriciones was quoted as saying in a statement on Friday.
Mr. Castriciones said he has instructed all regional and local officials to come up with a plan for the LAD. He added that over 600,000 hectares of land are still to be covered under the CARP and distribution of these within three years may be impossible without a concrete plan.
The official said this during a three-day national conference for the proper accounting of the remaining land for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries. The conference also included the formulation of strategies and recommendations to speed up the acquisition and distribution of land, which will be presented to President Rodrigo R. Duterte at a June 6 Cabinet meeting.
“At present, we have already done initial steps in streamlining the land conversion process. The Inter-Agency Task Force on land use conversion has already drafted its implementing rules and regulations. If approved by the Cabinet and President Duterte, then it will be implemented immediately,” Mr. Castriciones said in the statement.
The said task force was formed to speed up processing of requests for land conversion to residential, commercial, and industrial use, as well as submit a report on inconsistencies in the conversion processes.
The DAR has been working to acquire all government-owned land suitable for agricultural use but are no longer used for this purpose as stated in Executive Order 75. It also aims achieve zero backlog in resolution cases related to agrarian justice delivery.
“We have set our targets starting this year until 2022 to achieve a zero backlog for both the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board and Agrarian Legal Implementation cases,” Mr. Catriciones said.
“We are incorporating all of this into a cohesive and strategic program. We hope a favorable response from the President and the Cabinet. If all goes well, immediate implementation will follow,” he said. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang