By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
September 13, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – Regional Director Stephen M. Leonidas officially assumed office as the new head of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Eastern Visayas following his installation on Tuesday, September 3 this year.
RD Leonidas accepted his new assignment when his predecessor, Atty. Sheila Enciso, formally turned over to him the symbolic key of responsibility, as well as the ISO 9001:2015 and the PRIME-HRM Level 2 manuals during the said occasion at the Oriental Hotel.
On August 13, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones issued Special Order No. 504 transferring Leonidas to Region VIII, while on the same document Enciso was re-assigned to Region VI. Both regions are considered high-LAD regions (regions with still high balances on Land Acquisition and Distribution).
A resident of Bacolod City, Leonidas, the 19th regional director to serve DAR in this region since the agency was created in 1971, disclosed that this is already his 16th transfer in 15 assignments as a third level official.
He added that this also completes his Visayan Region tour for he has already been assigned to Regions VII and VI, his last assignment prior to his transfer to Region VIII.
According to him, in order to exist in a situation where he is not familiar, he always expect for the worst-case scenario.
Leonidas said, he is not new to Region-8. He shared that during the time of then Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes, he was invited to work with the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officers (PAROs) here on claim folder review.
After Typhoon Yolanda hit this region, “RD Shee invited me also as one of the speakers to give lectures to the MAROs (Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers) of this region, which was conducted in Cebu”, he added.
An expert in solving contentious landholding problems, Leonidas inherited more than 62,000-hectare balance for distribution to qualified farmer beneficiaries in the provinces of Leyte, Western Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Southern Leyte under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), which the President wants to be completed by 2022 when his term ends.
For this year, DAR Eastern Visayas is tasked to distribute 2,050 hectares of agricultural lands.