PRRD threatens to fire DAR officials

MANILA — Officials and personnel at the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) may face dismissal if they continue to process slow land conversions papers, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said on Tuesday.

Duterte also expressed frustration on how it took some officials and personnel two years to resolve land conversion cases when it should only take a few months.

He said it was his former aide, Christopher “Bong” Go, who informed him about how it took two years to process land conversion papers.

“If it takes you two years to process a paper, a conversion there, you are up to corruption. I told them one month,” Duterte said, in a speech during the annual assembly of the Provincial Union of Leaders Against Illegality (PULI) in Lucena City.

“I asked Bong, the conversion from one of agriculture to commercial I think, it took them two years to process,” he said in Filipino.

The President warned that he could fire the DAR officials and personnel if this corrupt practice continues.

“If they’re listening there in the DAR conversion office, better prepare because you’re (going to get) fired,” Duterte said.

Duterte further described slow, corrupt DAR officials as “causing disorder” in the country.

He also lamented that the land reform problem in the country would never be solved if processes moved in a snail’s pace.

“You know, I told the military and police, we can never solve this problem in the Philippines unless we are able to tackle the issue of land reform,” Duterte said.

The President, meanwhile, urged the DAR to assess remaining government-owned lands which can be given to landless farmers.

“If there’s still government lands, just assess them. Within the three years of my remaining I will distribute all government-owned lands,” he added.

Over 10,000 PULI members were present in the event meant to make the people of Quezon province more informed, empowered, and committed stakeholders in the fight against criminality and other social ills. PNA –