The Department of Agrarian Reform has amended conversion guidelines on government priority projects.
Secretary Bernie Cruz said several provisions of the land-use conversions had been amended to ensure that the exercise of the conversion authority of DAR is responsive to the urgent needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the country approaches the new normal through Administrative Order 3 A of 2021.
Special project undertakings of the government are treated as critically important in conversion applications, he noted.
“Such endeavors consist of, but are not limited to agro-industrial, low cost or socialized housing, power generation or distribution, water generation, and telecommunications,” he said.
Interested landowners, agrarian reform beneficiaries or the duly authorized representatives must apply for conversion for special project undertakings with the regional director if the landholding for conversion is not more than five hectares.
“All applications for conversions for landholdings involving an area of less than five hectares shall be acted upon by the concerned regional director,” the DAR chief said.
For application for conversion of agricultural lands with areas of five hectares or more, the application must be filed to the Land Use Cases Division-Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance.
“In determining the total land area under application for conversion, the area of the adjacent land which has been converted for a similar purpose by previous conversion grant regardless of the owner shall be considered,” Cruz said.
“A conversion application for an energy project like power generation, transmission, or distribution must be certified by the Department of Energy, National Electrification Administration or the local government unit, whichever is involved in the project,” he said.