LEGAZPI CITY: The regional office for Bicol here of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is targeting this year some 50,000 hectares of land for acquisition and distribution to land transfer beneficiaries under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in the region.
This target includes those that were part of the interrupted land acquisition and distribution (LAD) areas pipelined in 2013 and new lands scheduled for this year, all totaling 49,919 hectares, DAR Regional Director Luis Bueno Jr. on Monday said.
Interrupted LAD are those that have pending proceedings and, Bueno said, his office is under orders from DAR Sec. Virgilio de los Reyes to go ahead with its distribution even after the month of June this year as provided under Section 30 of Republic Act (RA) 9700.
RA 9700 is “strengthens the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, extending the acquisition and distribution of all agricultural lands, instituting necessary reforms and amending for the purpose certain provisions of RA 6657, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988.”
The LAD extension is for five years beginning on the effectivity of the Act in August 2009 wherein the final acquisition and distribution of all remaining un-acquired and undistributed agricultural lands should be completed until June 30, 2014.
However, Sec. 30 of the same Act subtitled Resolution of Case provides that “any case and/or proceeding involving the implementation of the provisions of Republic Act 6657, as amended, which may remain pending on June 30, 2014 shall be allowed to proceed to its finality and be executed even beyond such date.”
The Department of Justice concurred with this view and said the 2014 General Appropriations Act bolsters this undertaking with substantial fund for the DAR to be able to meet its commitment of over 300,000 hectares to be distributed to CARP beneficiaries nationwide this year.
Bueno declared that meeting this target for Bicol would be somewhat difficult, he assured that the distribution of the remaining balance will be realized without much intricacy within this year even beyond June 30.
In the recent Back-to-Back Recalibration and Validation on Land Tenure Service and Technical Advisory and Support Services for Bicol recently held here with de los Reyes in attendance, it was stressed that DAR’s 2013 accomplishment was highest under the administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
The Compulsory Acquisition accomplishment in 2013 was also highest in seven years, from 2006 as revealed by DAR Undersecretary for Field Operations Jose Grageda during the same occasion, according to Bueno.
It was also stressed by Grageda that DAR strategizes to improve the land tenure security of the agrarian reform beneficiaries, establish a stable agrarian property rights regime and create a sustainable livelihood for them.
DAR under de los Reyes, Bueno said, is resolute in its stand to finish the acquisition and distribution of still close to one million hectares of lands, hence, the DAR secretary has been going around each region with the two teams from the Field Operations Office to validate the targets by reviewing the nature and status of the LAD balances.