THE environment group, Green Alert Network (GAN), has questioned the conversion of some agricultural lands in Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental.

In a press statement, GAN said that members of the town’s Municipal Council passed the resolution amending Ordinance 2002-004, entitled "An Ordinance Reviving the Zoning Regulations of the Municipality of Hinoba-an, Negros Occidental and approving for the administration enforcement and amendment thereof and for the repeal of all ordinances in conflict therewith.”

With its amendment, some agricultural lands in Barangay Bacuyangan will be reclassified into industrial zone, the group added.

It said that some parts of the agricultural lands were already covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

It stressed that the passage of the ordinance violated the Local Government Code because no public hearings were conducted before its approval.

The act “grossly violated rights to due process guaranteed by our Constitution to every individual,” it added.

GAN said the area covers all productive agricultural lands in the barangay, which means that “food security of the whole community is being threatened.”

The approved ordinance is “patently illegal and confiscatory resulting from evident bad faith and promotion of personal interest of its proponents over the interest and welfare of the whole community affected.”

GAN also said the actions and decisions of the Municipal Council must be based on the welfare of the farmers.

It added that they are planning to take a legal action, and that they will also bring up the issue to Agrarian Secretary Rafael Mariano and Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.