DAR submits initial compliance report on Luisita ruling

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2012 01:01 PM | Updated as of Oct 31 2012 09:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) submitted an 8-page compliance report to the Supreme Court (SC) regarding the high court's April 24 final ruling for the distribution of Cojuangco-owned sugar estate Hacienda Luisita to thousands of its farm worker beneficiaries (FWBs).

"Mandates by the Supreme Court to place the subject HLI (Hacienda Luisita, Inc.) lands under compulsory coverage and to distribute the same to qualified FWBs, this report accordingly highlights the DAR's activities over the preceding 6 months to process and acquire about 4,335.24 hectares of agricultural lands for physical distribution to the qualified farm workers of Hacienda Luisita as of 21 November 1989," the report read.

DAR said that as of Oct. 29, it has been simultaneously undertaking the following major activities, for completion after 6 months:

- segregation and subdivision surveys of HLI lands subject to land acquisition and distribution (LAD) under the CARP (Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program); and
- the screening and validation of qualified HLI FWBs.

In order to carefully screen and validate the qualified beneficiaries, DAR reported that it conducted 2 rounds of interviews with the farm workers from May 23 to July 22, and from Aug. 13 to Aug. 24. A total of 8,641 persons were interviewed.

Of the number of persons interviewed, 5,169 are common to both the identified 6,296 original farm workers list and the list brought about by the agreement with HLI on the stock distribution plan (SDP).

DAR said it intends to finish the screening and validation process in order to post the preliminary Master List of qualified beneficiaries covering 10 barangays on or before end October.

DAR also reported that a contract for competent land survey for all the landholdings of HLI was awarded to F.F. Cruz Co., Inc. last Sept. 12.

"Immediately thereafter, the consolidation, segregation, and other survey activities for Hacienda Luisita commenced. The segregation survey is projected to be completed by Jan 2013," the report read.

Invitations had also been published for the hiring of a competent accounting firm for the audit of HLI and Centennary Holdings' books, DAR said. This is intended to determine if the P1.33 billion proceeds of the sale of the 500-hectare lot for commercial use and 80.51-hectare lot for the SCTEX road network "were actually used or spent for legitimate corporate purposes."

The report was in compliance with the high court's order for a periodic reporting of efforts geared toward the compulsory distribution of the Luisita lands.