THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported on Wednesday that as of May 5, 2017, they have already issued 1,336 agricultural free patents covering 467 hectares and 536 residential free patents covering 19.3 hectares in Central Visayas Region.
During Wednesday's Kapihan sa PIA, DENR-Central Visayas said that a total 281 agricultural patents and 127 residential patents were issued in Cebu; 1,008 agricultural patents and 381 residential patents in Bohol; and 28 agricultural patents and 47 residential patents in Siquijor.
Eduardo M. Inting, DENR-Central Visayas assistant regional director, said on Wednesday that it is their priority to fast track the processing and the issuance of patents so they can hit their target to issue 5,575 agricultural free patents and 2,050 residential free patents this year.
The issuance of free patents is in line with the New Free Patent Act that "provides the DENR to process a free patent title application to any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land".
According to the DENR, a free patent on residential land covers all lands that are zoned as residential areas, including town sites as defined under the Public Land Act, provided that none of the provisions of the Forestry Code of the Philippines will be violated.
"The issuance of free patents to residential lands provides security of tenure to occupants and possessors of untitled residential lands through a simplified, streamlined and cost-effective process of administrative titling," the DENR added.
On the other hand, an agricultural free patent is the confirmation of imperfect title over alienable and disposable public agricultural lands thru administrative procedure, the DENR said.
Agricultural patent applicants should be a natural-born Filipino citizen, not owner of an area that exceeds 12 hectares, a resident in the area for the last 30 years, and has paid real state tax.
Residential patent applicants must be a Filipino citizen, occupant in the area for the last 10 years, and without pending land registration fees.
The importance of patent issuance is the top priority of the DENR for it can boost the revenue collection which is a big support to the local governent units. (CNU Communication intern Jullianne Consing/SunStar Philippines)