COTABATO CITY — In the Executive Order No. 75 s. 2019 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, concerned government offices, including the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy (MENRE) – BARMM, are directed to identify idle government-owned lands (GOLs) devoted to agricultural purposes and distribute to qualified beneficiaries.
Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Undersecretary for Mindanao Affairs and Rural Devleopment, Usec Atty. Ranibai Dilangalen, paid a visit to BARMM Senior Minister and MENRE Minister Abdulraof A. Macacua on 6 September 2021 in the Ministry to seek advice and technical assistance on the matter, particularly in surveying the 6,667-hectare idle GOLs in Camp Keithley in Marawi City, Saguiaran, Piagapo, and Marantao, which include areas in Mindanao State University, National Power Corporation, and the Provincial Capitol of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur.
“We hope that families and communities that are already in the concerned areas will be a priority in receiving these lands,” Minister Macacua said.
Usec Dilangalen also echoed that she aims to have the victims of the Marawi Siege as beneficiaries of the program.
“This will contribute to the development of peace and order in [Marawi City] and in Lanao del Sur,” the Minister added.
In moving forward, MENRE eyes joint efforts with the DAR and DENR National Offices, and DENR Region 12 in delineating the 6,667-hectare area.
MENRE Land Management Services Director Eshan Karl O. Mabang, in collaboration with DENR 12, shall ensure the efficient, timely, and smooth execution of the technical survey.
The MENRE will formulate and approve the Work and Financial Plan, including the survey plans, considering that the concerned areas are in the Bangsamoro region.
In acquiring deeds and identifying qualified beneficiaries, the DAR shall collaborate with the DENR National Office. Both offices will prepare an “inventory of GOLs devoted to or suitable for agriculture, and no longer actually, directly and exclusively used or necessary for the purpose for which they have been reserved or acquired” as stipulated in E.O. 75.
Camp Keithley is a GOL that will be distributed under the comprehensive agrarian reform program (CARP) through E.O. 75. Now renamed Camp Amai Pakpak, Camp Keithley was once a US military base built during the 20th-century Philippine-American war. President Proclamation No. 453 s. 1953 converted Camp Keithley into a military reserve.