PRRD renews appeal to give unused gov’t lands to underprivileged

Spread the love

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his call to give unused government-owned lands to the underprivileged, particularly those affected by Typhoon Odette.

Duterte ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to distribute idle government-owned lands “within the next several months”.

Kung mag-rehabilitate kayo ng isang (If you are going to rehabilitate a) community and you would want to look for the space if it’s government land, Ibigay na ninyo lahat. Those idle government land, better give it to the people right away,” he said.

Lahat ng lupa na puwedeng ibigay sa tao (All the unused lands we can give to the people), whether they were victims of the typhoon or not, ibigay na lang yung kaya ibigay (let’s just give what we can give),” he added.

Duterte stated that the majority of individuals hit by the typhoon were “marginalized” and “very poor”, with nowhere else to go.

Bilisan na ninyo nang konti (Just hurry up a bit),” he said.

He also commended former DAR Secretary John Castriciones for his efforts in ensuring that more Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) were distributed to eligible applicants.

“Castriociones made a good, for the time when he was with the Cabinet, he made a significant act of giving so many lands,” he said.

Castriciones resigned from his post in October to run for senator in the May 2022 elections.

He was supposed to run for the Senate during the 2019 midterm elections but instead chose to remain as DAR chief.

‘Flaws in the law’

However, Duterte stressed that the law mandating the evaluation of reports on disaster-affected areas before declaring a state of calamity should be repealed.

“The law on the proclamation of calamities should not be dependent on the assessment of damage because that exercise should come days after the catastrophic event,” he said.

“The period of assessment comes very much later. ‘Yan ang tingin kong (That is what I think is) the flaw of the law,” he added.

Duterte may have been referring to Republic Act No. (RA) 10121, also known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010.

He previously termed waiting for the assessment of reports as a “hindrance” and “legal obstacle” which delayed his declaration of a state of calamity in areas ravaged by the typhoon and prevented the government from acting immediately.

“It behooves upon this Congress, if they want to, for the next President, may I advise, try to repeal the law so that government, there is already the warning, hindi na kailangan ng (no need for) assessment because the warning just too far away for us to prepare,” he said in a public address aired Monday night.

Based on the reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Typhoon Odette inflicted around PHP28 million worth of damage in 506,404 houses, over PHP16 billion worth of damage to 276 infrastructures, and more than PHP5 billion worth of damage to agriculture.

More than 300 cities and municipalities in Visayas and Mindanao have been declared under a state of calamity.

House committees to hold hearings during break

Spread the love

Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.