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‘Exasperated’ Duterte prompts gov’t move to ease land conversion process

‘Exasperated’ Duterte prompts gov’t move to ease land conversion process

UNENDING CYCLE Farmers harvest palay in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, in this file photo. —BONG S. SARMIENTO

MANILA, Philippines — Government agencies involved in processing land conversion cases are now working on a joint memorandum circular to fast-track their procedures after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed “exasperation” over the tedious process.

In a Palace briefing on Friday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the President showed frustration after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) presented during the last Cabinet meeting the process and requirements needed for land conversion applications.

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“He was exasperated with the requirements needed for land conversion. During the presentation sa Cabinet (meeting), pinakita po doon ‘yung mga certifications na kinakailangan for processing of land conversion,” Nograles said.

“Mula sa DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), Department of Agriculture, sa Housing agencies natin, sa local government units and all other agencies and departments. Kumbaga the President understood how tedious it is,” he added.

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In his previous speeches, the President warned he would fire DAR officials over a land conversion application that has been delayed for years.

Duterte said he found it unacceptable that it took the agency two years to process the conversion of an agricultural land to commercial use, saying there was probably corruption involved.

READ: Duterte to fire 2 DAR execs

“Kaya nagusap-usap ang ibat-ibang ahensya ng gobyerno para gumawa nga nitong joint memorandum circular para pabilisin ang process hindi lamang sa Department of Agragrian Reform kundi pati na rin sa ibang ahensya at departamento ng gobyerno,” Nograles said.

“Hopefully that joint memorandum circular will be presented to the President para aksyunan niya, maaprubahan niya,” he added.

READ: Palace orders Cabinet: Streamline way to resolve land conversion cases

According to Nograles, the joint memorandum circular eyes to streamline land conversion process from the 24-36 months to just 30 days. /kga

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