Some 2,600 families receive free titles from DENR

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

AT LEAST 2,600 beneficiaries in Central Visayas received residential land titles called free patents from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Lands Management Services (LMS).

DENR 7 Executive Director Isabelo Montejo said that 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 in Cebu Province who receieved the free patents; 708 in Bohol; 1,274 in Negros Oriental and in Siquijor, 14.

Montejo said that 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 outcomes in the year 2014,” Montejo.

Heo 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.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 29, 2013.

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