Duterte still trusts DAR chief despite issues in land use conversion
MANILA, Philippines — Despite repeatedly expressing his exasperation with the tedious process involving land use conversion, President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary John Castriciones.
“I believe DAR Secretary Castriciones still enjoys the trust and confidence of the President. In fact, the President said something to that effect (during the Cabinet meeting),” Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said in a Palace briefing on Friday.
Duterte earlier said that he walked out of the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday after learning about the slow process involving land use conversion cases.
In his previous speeches, Duterte has repeatedly said that he will fire DAR officials over a land conversion application that has been delayed for years.
Duterte said he found it unacceptable that it took the agency two years to process the conversion of agricultural land for commercial use, saying that there was probably corruption involved.
Nograles also said that government agencies involved in land conversion process are currently drafting a joint memorandum circular to streamline and fast track the procedures. /ee
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