By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has expressed optimism in the completion of the distribution of agricultural lands to landless farmers by 2022.
DAR Secretary John Castriciones has directed all its regional and local officials to forge a systematic and formidable plan to complete the land acquisition and distribution (LAD) component of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the next three years.
He pointed out that at least 600,000 hectares of land are still to be covered under the CARP.
“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, and most of all, ensuring that the country is LAD-free by 2022,” Castriciones said.
“However, if the DAR is armed with a well-coordinated strategy, it would not be an “impossible mission,” he added.
A three-day national conference was recently held for the proper accounting of the remaining workable balance for distribution to agrarian reform beneficiaries.
During the meeting, strategies and recommendations were formulated to speed up the acquisition and distribution of lands in the country.
The crafted implementation plan will be presented to the President during the next Cabinet meeting on June 6.
“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,” Castriciones said.
The task force was formed to further expedite the processing of requests to convert agricultural lands for residential, commercial and industrial use, and submit a report on the anomalies in the conversion processes.