The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has issued new guidelines for the processing of applications for land use conversion of landholdings to be used as sites for energy projects.
Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Luis Meinrado C. Pañgulayan said, the new guidelines, contained in Memorandum Circular No. 01, Series of 2015, has been issued in recognition of the impending energy crisis in the country.
Under the previous directives—Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2002 as well as DAR Memorandum Circular No. 2 Series of 2002—applications for conversion that has incomplete or insufficient submissions, are not processed by the Department. Instead, the application is immediately returned to the applicant or to the representative.
Pañgulayan, however clarified this was because the processing application must be supported by a certification from the Department of Energy that it involves an “urgent energy project.”
Under the new order however, an application for conversion with urgent energy projects only needs to be certified to by the DOE Secretary in writing for it to processed continuously. Nevertheless, it cannot be deliberated upon by the Committee on Conversion unless the required documents have been formally submitted and completed.