QUEZON CITY —Agrarian Secretary John Castriciones on Thursday, February 22 convened the first executive committee meeting of the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC Excom) for 2018.
“The agenda deliberated in this executive committee meeting will be presented to the PARC meeting with President Duterte in Malacanang tentatively scheduled on March 27,” said Castriciones who is also the PARC Executive Committee Chairman.
Mr. Alex Buenaventura, Land Bank President and PARC Excom member presented to the committee the proposed farm management and marketing agreement between Dana Fresh Fruits Corporation (DFFC) and Hijo Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative (HARBCO) of Davao del Norte
In the presence of the parties involved, namely DFFC and the HARBCO, Castriciones and the executive committee pored over the contract agreement and discussed the merits and disadvantages of each provision/clause contained in the contract.
“We are here to help our farmers understand the content of the contract they are entering in. Let us put ourselves in their shoes, and make sure that they are not being duped into signing an unfair contract,” said Castriciones.
After several hours of deliberation, a majority of the committee voted ‘yes’ for the PARC Excom to pass a resolution endorsement of the proposed farm management and marketing agreement to the next PARC meeting with President Duterte.
Undersecretary for legal affairs Luis Pangulayan, who is also the Council Secretary of PARC, reported the updates on the audit report on the P1.4 million proceeds on the sales of Hacienda Luisita, Inc, (HLI) properties, specifically the 80-hectare Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX complex) covered under the stock distribution option (SDO) revoked by PARC.
Pangulayan said the Supreme Court ordered the DAR to engage the services of three reputable accounting firms approved by the parties (HLI and PARC) to audit the books of HLI and Centenary Holdings, Inc. to determine if the P1.4 million sales proceeds were actually spent for legitimate corporate purposes.
Pangulayan said the Supreme Court ordered that any unspent or unused balance and any disallowed expenditures as determined by the audit will be distributed to the 6,296 farm-worker beneficiaries of CARP.
“The three accounting firms have already submitted their audit reports to the Supreme Court. We are now awaiting the decision of the Supreme Court on this matter,” Pangulayan said.
Also discussed and will be elevated to the PARC meeting with the President are the following:
1. The proposed composition and powers of the PARC Executive Committee; and
2. Land Bank’s report on the status of just compensation cases and adjustments and evaluation guidelines.
The PARC is the highest policy- and decision-making body for agrarian reform matters and disputes, where the President presides as chair and the agrarian reform secretary as vice chair.