Thailand farms

Isko Moreno wants to stop turning farms into housing estates

CALAUAN, Laguna – Aksyon Demokratiko flag bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso said on Friday he would implement a 2-year moratorium on farmland conversion if he wins the 2022 presidential race.

Under its proposed policy, all farmland must produce rice and crops for 2-3 years to contribute to food security in the country, Domagoso said during a dialogue with farmers here.

“Marami nang mga lupang sakahan o agrikultura na ginagawa nang subdivision, ginagawang pabahay na wala namang nakatira,” he said.

(There is a lot of farmland and farmland that has been turned into housing estates, housing units that are vacant.)

“It’s always good, cultivate it. It’s just a moment to help you bow and read, until you are, maybe, until you are in. Next 2 years, “he said.

(This land must be cultivated. The government must fund the farmers so that they can cultivate the land and plant so that we can have something to eat for the next 2 years.)

The moratorium should hopefully make the Philippines less dependent on importing rice and crops, the presidential aspirant said.

“Ayokong darating ang oras, may pandemiya, hindi na tayo makabili ng bigas in Vietnam, in Thailand, in the neighboring region because mayroon din silang sariling pangangailangan,” he said.

(I don’t want the time to come when we can only have rice from Vietnam, Thailand and neighboring areas because they also have to provide for their own needs.)

“We must focus on our policy. Food security and employment must be the main concern of the next administration,” he said.

The real estate industry should not be wary of the proposed moratorium as it could still find business opportunities in highly urbanized cities, the mayor of Manila said.

“Wag muna natin kunin yung lupa ng magsasaka at engganiyuhin siya na panandaliang malaking pera… pero against the interest of ating mga kababayan,” he said.

(Let’s not convert the land first and attract farmers with huge sums … but at the expense of the interests of our countrymen.)

“Maraming opportunities in Metro Manila. Kami nga nakakapagtayo ng housing, ”he said, referring to the Manila city government, which has built several vertical housing units in the capital.

(There are a lot of opportunities in Metro Manila. We’ve even built new housing in Manila.)

In 2016, the Land Reform Department (DAR) proposed a 2-year moratorium on land conversion soon after President Rodrigo Duterte took office.

Efforts to stop the processing and approval of all requests for conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural use were led by then-Land Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano, one of the progressive members of the Cabinet. during Duterte’s first year in office.

But Duterte later criticized Mariano for the backlog in land use conversion cases in the department, saying the proposed moratorium is an example of bureaucracy and may be an opportunity for corruption.

Farmers and land reform advocates have staged several protests outside the DAR office in Quezon City to overturn an ordinance that streamlines the land use conversion process.