MANILA The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Executive Order No. 75, series of 2019, which directs the identification of government-owned lands (GOLs) which are dedicated or suitable for agriculture.
The joint administrative order of the two departments, signed May 31, 2019, by Agrarian Reform Secretary John R. Castriciones and Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra, was released to the media on Tuesday.
DAR was named as the lead agency that will provide central direction and coordination for the implementation of the said executive order.
Executive Order No. 75, series of 2019, will accelerate and ensure the immediate identification and segregation of all unclassified lands of public domain and all government-owned lands (GOLs) suitable for agrarian reform.
The new EO was signed in February 2019 by President Rodrigo Duterte.
A preliminary list of government-owned lands being eyed for distribution includes the 9,000-hectare Yulo King Ranch in Busuanga, Palawan; a 5,000-hectare land of the University of Southern Mindanao; the 5,200-hectare Davao Penal Colony; and a 100-hectare land of the Aurora State College of Technology.
In accordance with the EO, the IRR shall govern the identification, validation, segregation, transfer and distribution of all GOLs, devoted to or suitable for agriculture and which are no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purpose for which they have been reserved or acquired for the purpose of eventual distribution to qualified beneficiaries.
After the preparation of the total inventory of the coverable GOLs, validation of the listed lands shall be undertaken by the DAR, in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).
The DAR shall confirm the compliance of the coverable GOLs in outlined criteria while the DA and the DENR shall ascertain their suitability for planting and for land classification and slope, respectively.
After the transfer is completed, the DAR will proceed with the process of land acquisition and distribution.
Qualified beneficiaries are farmers, tillers or farmworkers:
(1) Who are landless or who own less than three hectares of agricultural lands;
(2) Filipino citizens;
(3) Residents of the barangay (or the municipality if there are not enough qualified beneficiaries in the barangay) where the landholding is located; at least 15 years of age at the time of identification, screening, and selection of the farmer beneficiaries;
(4) And with willingness, aptitude, and ability to cultivate and make the land as productive as possible as provided under Section 22 of RA 6657, as amended. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency