THE Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have signed the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for Executive Order No. 75, series of 2019, which instructs all government arm to identify government-owned lands (GOL) suitable for agriculture distribution.

In a statement Tuesday, DAR noted that the joint administrative order was signed on May 31 by Secretary John R. Castriciones and Justice Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra. DAR was also “named the lead agency that will provide central direction and coordination for the implementation of the executive order.

The IRR “shall govern the identification, validation, segregation, transfer and distribution of all GOLs, devoted to or suitable for agriculture and which are no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purpose for which they have been reserved or acquired for the purpose of eventual distribution to qualified beneficiaries.”

In a separate statement, the Palace said Tuesday that Mr. Castriciones discussed the IRR of the EO, which was signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Feb. 15, during the Cabinet meeting on Monday. On June 13, Mr. Duterte and Mr. Castriciones will head to General Santos City to distribute certificates of land ownership awards that cover a total of 24,000 hectares of privately acquired land to 13,000 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

Those eligible for receiving GOL under the IRR are Filipino farmers, landless farmworkers, and those who own less than three hectares of agricultural land; residents of the barangay or the municipality where the land is located; at least 15 years old at the time of identification, screening and selection of beneficiaries; with the willingness and ability to cultivate the land for production.

Other agencies involved during the process of identification to distribution are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

After determining the total inventory of coverable GOLs, validation will be performed by DAR with the DENR and the DA.

DAR will then validate that the GOL meets the criteria for distribution, while the DA and DENR will examine its suitability for planting and determine land classification and slope. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang