About 700 members of the Task Force Mapalad-Negros marched on the streets of Bacolod City yesterday calling for the resignation of Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes of the Department of Agrarian Reform for what they called his poor performance in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, its spokesperson Edna Sobrecaray, said.
Sobrecaray said they believed in the promise of President Benigno Aqiuno III in their dialog with him last June, that they will fast-track the implementation of CARPer but it has distributed only about 1,500 hectares of land in Negros as of October this year.
DAR Assistant Secretary Jose Grajeda, who was in Bacolod yesterday for the dialog with TFM members at the Bacolod Pavilion Hotel, told the DAILY STAR that the accomplishment of Negros will increase before the year ends, although they will not be able to finish all of the 43,161 hectares that includes the 16,233-hectare backlog for coverage and distribution of 2011.
Grajeda, however, said they have pipelined their target in the first six months next year including the balance for this year. He added that 70 to 82 percent of the accomplishment of DAR is reflected in the second quarter of the year since all processes are undertaken during the first quarter.
There are also problems that need to be addressed, like those of land titles, survey plans, and the lack of personnel to do the jobs, he said.
He said that although they want to hire new personnel to fast-track the implementation, they cannot do it because of a pending order from the Department of Budget and Management that does not allow it.
However, he said, they have proposed the transfer of the vacant items from other regions to Negros Occidental to fill the vacant positions.
Grajeda also said that CARPer is not only implemented by DAR but it also by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources that reviews and approves the land surveys, the Land Bank of the Philippines which takes charge of land valuation, and the Land Registration Authority that handles the land titling.*LTG