New DAR body for land conversion cases

The Department of Agrarian Reform on Friday ordered the creation of a new body to speed up land conversion cases.

DAR Secretary John Castriciones said there is a need to create a new collegial body deputized to act on applications for land use conversion.

The body dubbed as a land use cases committee is also authorized to grant or reject applications for exemption and exclusion of agricultural lands from the coverage of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program.

Under the law, the DAR chief “shall be the approving authority for land use conversion applications involving lands with an area larger than five hectares,” according to the DAR chief.

Castriciones said he decided to delegate the power in deference to President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive “to streamline the conversion, exemption and exclusion processes for speedy resolution of the same.

Under Castriciones’ DAR Administrative Order No. 6 of 2019, the committee shall be composed of a chairperson, a vice chairperson, and three members each for the sub-committees on land use conversion, exemption and exclusion.

Castriciones tapped Assistant Secretary Jim Coleto of the adjudication board as chairperson of the LUCC and Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Elmer Distor as vice chairperson.

The two will sit as chairperson and vice chairperson to all three sub-committees.

A vote of three of the five-member committee, who are present during the deliberation, is sufficient for the approval or disapproval of the applications. 

Topics: Department of Agrarian Reform , John Castriciones , Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program
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