DAR central office’s nod sought on approval of 33-ha.land conversion at Zamboecozone PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 September 2014 13:58

The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) has elevated to its central office the concerns of land conversion of a 33 hectares leased by a power firm at the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport (Zamboecozone).

The San Ramon Power, Incorporated (SRPI) has leased a 33-hectare area at the Zamboecozone to construct its 100 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plant.

DAR Regional Director Julita Ragandang said she forwarded the matter to the central office since her office can only decide matters on land holdings involving five hectares.

Ragandang said the agency has to review whether or not the 33 hectares of land can be converted to industrial “if these are classified as agricultural in nature and even if it is not for distribution” since Zamboaecozone is not covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).

The SRPI is set to construct a 100-MW coal-fired power plant on the leased 33-hectare area but construction works have not taken place since the area subject to lease has not been resolved with finality as DA still maintains the land is classified as agricultural that requires conversion.

The power firm is also waiting for the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve the Power Sales Agreement (PSA) entered into by SRPI and the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to start building the power plant.

Ragandang said she will check the status of the matter with DAR central office as land conversion entails tedious process. — RGAAG