MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte has signed an executive order directing all government departments, bureaus, and offices to identify government-owned lands suitable for distribution.

Duterte signed Executive Order No. 75 on Feb. 15 but a copy of which was released to media only on Wednesday (Feb. 20).

Under the order, the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) must acquire all lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture for the purpose of eventual distribution to beneficiaries who are qualified.

Within 30 days from the effectivity of this Order, all agencies must identify their lands suitable for agriculture and submit a list to the DAR.

The list should indicate the location and area of the said lands, actual use and legal basis of ownership.

True copies of all pertinent documents in their custody relative to the identified lands, including certificates of title or other proofs of authority to utilize the same must be submitted.

In case of lands, which are subject of actions pending before judicial or quasi-judicial tribunals, the submission must include a report on the status of the pending action.

“The DAR, in coordination with the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), shall cause the preparation of an inventory of government-owned lands 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. Agencies whose lands are covered by such inventory shall be furnished a copy thereof,” the order read.

Within the 60 days from the effectivity of this order, the DAR and the Department of Justice must jointly formulate the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) regarding the validation, segregation, transfer, and distribution of 'identified' government-owned lands.

The order will take effect 15 days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

Duterte has repeatedly voiced out his desire to distribute government-owned lands to farmers.

In a speech during the ceremonial distribution of Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) in Buluan, Maguindanao, Duterte also told communist rebels that he was willing to give them lands, if they return to the fold of law. (PNA)