Robredo, et al. block moratorium on land conversion
Economic managers are thwarting plans to impose a ban on farmland conversion, warning the proposed moratorium will unnecessarily delay critical infrastructure and housing projects.
On the sidelines of the 42nd Philippine Business Conference on Wednesday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said he and four other high ranking government officials have already signed a position paper stating their opposition to the planned land conversion moratorium of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). He said the position paper, already submitted to Malacañang, was also signed by Vice President Leni Robredo, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno.
The proposal seeks to suspend the conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural purposes and to review all land conversions, stock distribution and leasehold arrangements.
“(The moratorium) is going to be problematic for infrastructure projects… Some of the agricultural areas also are not suitable for any crop. We’re going to prevent that moratorium,” he said.
“We have the wide support from stakeholders including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Foundation for Economic Freedom, many other economists, and colleagues from universities. (This paper) will be considered by the president and it would form part of the context as to whether or not the draft executive order (on land moratorium) will be signed or not,” he added.
Business leaders and local economists earlier warned the proposal could have an adverse impact on the government’s economic plans.
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