Guv to agrarian office: Clarify order on Carp coverage

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012


NEGROS Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. said on Tuesday the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) should clarify its order regarding the issuance of the notice for lands covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (Carp).

DAR’s publication of the notice of coverage is in relation to the Joint DAR–Land Registration Authority (LRA) Memorandum Circular No. 17 issued on December 2011 that requires the LRA to annotate a notice of Carp coverage on the land titles of covered lands upon DAR’s issuance of such notice of coverage to the landowners.

Marañon said the notice with annotation is very arbitrary and illegal, that's why numerous land owners are against the move and they filed a temporary restraining order against it.

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Land owners slammed what they perceive as the high-handed manner by which DAR will compel the Register of Deeds to annotate the notice of Carp coverage on their lands titles based solely on the notice of coverage sent to land owners.

They also scored DAR for apparently hiding the existence of the joint DAR-LRA memo from them. While the memo was signed on December 2011, it was not until after the first quarter of this year that the land owners learned about the memo.

Land owners in the province assailed the DAR-LRA memo as confiscatory.
However, during his visit to Bacolod City Friday last week, Agrarian Secretary Virgilio De los Reyes insisted that it is not confiscatory. He said DAR was forced to resort to this measure, because land owners used to ignore the notices sent to them before.

It is not taking away the lands from them, as it is just a notice, De los Reyes said.

Such annotation, according to DAR, should serve notice to all and sundry that such land is subject to compulsory acquisition and distribution under Carp.

Delos Reyes said land owners, though they have received notice of Carp coverage of their lands, can still protest the Carp coverage. He assured that land owners will also be given due process if they want to contest the coverage.

Meanwhile, Marañon also hoped for the realization of the P300-million loan to be extended by the Land Bank of the Philippines to agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) in the province. This loan was announced by De los Reyes during his visit to the province last week.

He pointed out that ARBs need the support program from the government, as DAR also committed lapses in implementing the Carp.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 18, 2012.

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