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Land conversion ban hit

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 03:21 AM October 03, 2016
NEDA Director Ernesto Pernia in a press briefing held in Malacañang Palace. INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

NEDA Director Ernesto Pernia in a press briefing held in Malacañang Palace.   INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

THE COUNTRY’S chief economist has expressed opposition to the Department of Agrarian Reform’s plan to impose a two-year moratorium on farm land conversion, saying it would be detrimental to housing as well as infrastructure projects.

“The two-year ban will delay the objective of providing housing to the poor population,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told
reporters.

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It would also cause delays in major land infrastructure projects, Pernia said, adding that “[acquiring] right of way will be a problem.”

Pernia said the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) circulated a position paper expressing opposition to the DAR’s proposal which is awaiting the President’s approval.

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Pernia, who is Neda director general, said the state planning agency’s position had been brought to the attention of the departments of Budget and Management, Finance, and Trade and Industry.

According to Pernia, the DOF was “fully supportive” of Neda’s opposition, while Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol was also not fully backing the ban on agricultural land conversion.

In a Cabinet meeting scheduled today, Pernia said he would put forward the economic managers’ position.

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TAGS: Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, DAR, Department of Agrarian Reform, Ernesto M. Pernia, Housing, National Economic and Development Authority, NEDA, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary
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