AGRARIAN Reform Secretary Gil de los Reyes announced Monday, November 21, 2011, that he would request President Aquino to convene the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) as soon as possible so that it can finally decide on whether to grant or deny the application for stock distribution option (SDO) for the 972.7 hectare landholdings of Hacienda Teresa and Hacienda Salamanca in Negros Occidental.
De los Reyes assured farmers during a dialogue with them at his office that the resolution of the case, involving the properties owned by the “14 Colored Corporations”, is at hand. He asked them to be patient as the government is just one step away from completing the process.
The DAR chief made this appeal after the PARC Executive Committee overwhelmingly decided, by an 18-2 vote on Monday last week, November 14, 2011, to deny the SDO application of the said corporations.
De los Reyes expressed confidence that the PARC itself would carefully review the rationale behind the decision of its Executive Committee, and act on it immediately and judiciously once the council is convened by the President.
The President is the chairman of the PARC, while the DAR Secretary serves as its vice chairman. The members include the Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, Budget and Management, Interior and Local Government, Public Works and Highways, Finance, and Labor and Employment, the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority, the Administrator of the National Irrigation Administration and the Land Registration Authority, the President of the Land Bank of the Philippines, and Private Sector Representatives of the farmers and landowners.
Should the PARC vote against the application for SDO, De los Reyes said, the DAR would immediately issue a notice of coverage that will place the property under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). PAS-DAR