The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) said the moratorium on land use conversion and the condonation of bank penalties would provide a respite to “tens of thousands of farmers who are facing threats of eviction” due to projects in agricultural lands and the Land Bank foreclosure.
The KMP cited as examples land use conversion cases at Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac, Hacienda Looc in Batangas and the agricultural lands affected by the MRT-7 project in Bulacan.
On September 12, 2016, the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) approved a Two-Year Moratorium on Land Use Conversion (LUC) and started preparing an Executive Order for its implementation.
According to DAR Secretary Rafael Mariano, “the Executive Order Declaring a Moratorium on the Processing and Approval of All Applications for Land Use Conversion of Agricultural Lands to Non-Agricultural Purposes shall cover the following:”
– all awarded lands under RA 6657 as amended, PD 27 and other agrarian reform laws
– all agricultural lands with Notices of Coverage (NOCs)
– all irrigated and irrigable lands
– all prime agricultural lands
– retention areas of landowners which are tenanted or occupied by tenant-farmers.
– all agricultural lands with presence of agricultural activities and cultivated by farmers, individually or collectively.
– the moratorium shall cover the 4.7 million hectares agricultural lands distributed or awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries, landholdings under premature or illegal conversion and landholdings without conversion order issued by DAR which has the exclusive authority to approve and disapprove of land use conversion.
– PARC will create a Task Force to assess the situation of Land Use Conversion in the country.
– DAR will promulgate the rules and regulations for the Land Use Conversion moratorium order.