By Eddie O. Barrita
CEBU CITY, Dec. 29 (PNA) — The Lands Management Services (LMS) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7, has distributed residential land titles called free patents to some 2,600 beneficiaries in Central Visayas.
DENR 7 executive director Isabelo Montejo said this constitutes a 100 percent accomplishment for the issuance of free patents under Republic Act (RA) 10023, known as the Residential Free Patent Act.
The LMS reported that as of Dec. 20, there were 604 beneficiaries in Cebu who received the free patents; 708 in Bohol; 1,274 in Negros Oriental and 14 in Siquijor.
Montejo said the main reason for the successful implementation of public land titling program in Region 7 is the strong partnership and collaborative efforts of DENR 7 with various local government units (LGUs).
We are very happy that we did it successfully and we vow to continue these positive outcome in the year 2014, Montejo.
He said that it has been a standing policy to all provincial and community environment and natural resources officers to carefully oversee, monitor and supervise the processing and issuance of patents to ensure clients will be served well by informing them upon submission of the applications (for land titling) on the deficiencies.
He said the issuance of patents is one of the priority programs of the DENR to spur economic growth and productivity of idle lands.
A land title can be made as collateral in securing loans with a bank to finance the development of the property.
A free patent on residential land covers untitled residential lands in public alienable and disposable lands that are zoned by LGUs as residential areas, including town sites, public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks, delisted and abandoned military camps or reservations.
Under the law, only a land title is a proof of ownership of the property. A tax declaration is only for tax purposes and not a proof of ownership.
Any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land for at least 10 years may apply for a free patent, Montejo said.
With the titles, the indigent families will be assured of their permanent residence, he said. (PNA)