MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of employees of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) staged a rally in front of the DAR headquarters in Quezon City on Tuesday, demanding the resignation of Secretary Gil delos Reyes.
The DAR Employees Union are disgusted over what they alleged as delos Reyes's refusal to support the deletion of item no. 5 of the proposed DAR budget for 2013, which provides for the transfer of DAR funds for the support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries to the Department of Agriculture and the scaling down of DAR personnel way before CARPER ends in 2014.
The union is also questioning how DAR can finish implementing the CARPER when its present number of personnel will be scaled down and the budget is slashed.
DAR Employees Union president Nanette Pascual alleged that delos Reyes is the prime implementer of the conceived plan of transferring funds to DAR and the massive lay off of personnel which should have started October 2012 if not for the vigilance of DAREA who exposed the plan.
In a statement, delos Reyes denied the claims of DAR employees, saying there is no plan to abolish the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and assured that there is no mass lay off in the department.
Delos Reyes added that the budget for the support services to agrarian reform beneficiaries in 2013 stays with the DAR.
"I am sorry to disappoint the critics of this government, the rumors on abolition or dismemberment of the DAR are just not true," delos Reyes said. “This government is committed to implementing both the language and spirit of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, and we will continue to perform the twin tasks of providing land and appropriate support services to rightful beneficiaries."
Delos Reyes described the allegations aired by some groups that the Aquino administration is readying a transition plan to abolish the department by June 2014 as "unfounded rumors."