VMC insists it owns land in Manapla

CITY OF BACOLOD: Victorias Milling Company Inc. (VMC) has pointed out that it owns and has the right to own the land where its distillery is located at Barangay Purisima in the town of Manapla in Negros Occidental.

The company has dispelled rumors that the distillery plant is encroaching on other people’s properties. The company also said it was willing to show its land title and other legal documents.

“Certain areas of Manapla were classified as industrial by the relevant authorities before the Comprehensive Land Reform Act came into force under RA 6657 in 1988, and this includes the VMC Distillery. ordered the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in 2017 and 2019, the land where the VMC Manapla distillery is located was exempt from CARP,” management said in a statement.

In 2012, the Municipal Office of Planning and Development of Manapla issued a certification stating that the area has been zoned for industrial purposes.

A certificate from the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board has also been issued stating that the land has been labeled as industrial.

While the DAR previously denied a request for an exemption in 2017, the Land Use Cases Committee (LUCC) overturned the order and granted the request to VMC in 2019.

“In this case, since the land in question should not have been covered in the first place because it was no longer agricultural at the time the notice of cover was issued, the limitation period will not run against VMC,” LUCC said.

VMC called on its employees and members of the Manapla community to stand firm and exercise due diligence amid unverified information.

“Do not entertain or spread false information that could lead to misunderstandings and confusion. It could affect our operations and put our VMC family members at risk,” the company said.

VMC is one of the traditional companies in the Philippines. It is a leading sugar producer and has been in business since 1919. Its distillery plant produces ethyl alcohol and other related by-products.

Currently, it has a diversified business portfolio that includes food manufacturing and green energy development.

At the same time, VMC also reinforced its security following the discovery of improvised explosive devices about a hundred meters from the distillery.

“We are seeking the cooperation of residents and our employees to be on alert for individuals who are apparently planning to stir up violence in the area,” the company said.

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