Author: Jinky Cabildo, Krixia Subingsubing, Matthew Reysio-Cruz
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
The executive order that would put a stop to new applications for the conversion of farmlands into nonagricultural uses may be out soon, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
The draft order to impose a two-year moratorium on land conversion was still under study, five months after the idea was discussed at the first meeting of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) in 10 years.
But presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the order “should come out soon.”
Abella said the offices of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco earlier met to work on the draft of the executive order.
The fourth version was already with Medialdea and was being studied, Abella said.
Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano proposed last September a two-year moratorium on the conversion of agricultural lands into nonagricultural uses, such as the development of subdivisions and industrial parks, in order to ensure food security.
Between 1988 and the first half of 2016, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) approved 97,592.5 hectares of land earlier awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries for conversion into nonagricultural purposes.
Mariano, who hopes to protect agricultural lands awarded to agrarian reform beneficiaries, said last year that an executive order would be issued.