2-year moratorium on agri land conversion has exemptions: DAR


Posted at Sep 06 2017 01:23 PM

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MANILA - Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael "Ka Paeng" Mariano clarified Wednesday that the agency's proposal to implement a 2-year moratorium on the conversion of agricultural lands is not an absolute ban.

During his confirmation hearing Wednesday, he said exemptions have been placed in the current version of the proposed 2-year moratorium, which has now reached the Office of the President.

"Hindi po ibig sabihin na sa panahon na iyon ay wala nang gagawing o isasagawang conversion. Hindi po absolute and total ban," he said.

Mariano said energy, tourism, resettlement, and socialized low-cost housing projects are among those exempted from the proposed moratorium, as discussed in inter-agency consultations.

He said as long as the conversion projects presented to them are meritorious, the Department of Agrarian Reform will honor the applications even if it happens during the 2-year moratorium.

"Hindi po ako tutol sa conversion ng agricultural lands. Ang akin lang pong sinasabi, hangga't maaari mapreserba po natin ang ating mga lupang agrikultural, lalo 'yung prime lands na talagang non-negotiable for conversion sa mga umiiral nating batas," he said.

If the proposal is approved, the moratorium will allow government to assess the conversion of some 210,000 hectares of agricultural land for other purposes, Mariano previously told DZMM.