MANILA -- Environment Secretary Horacio Ramos on Tuesday ordered the Land Management Bureau (LMB) to fast track the drafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the new Residential Free Patent Law.

Republic Act 10023 or an Act Authorizing the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands was approved by the President last March 9 and was announced by Malacañang on March 18.

“I have directed the Land Management Bureau to fast track the law’s IRR, and hopefully it will be completed by the first week of May so that our field offices can start the processing and issuance of free patents covering residential lots before President Arroyo steps down in June,” Ramos said.

Authored by Senator Richard Gordon, the law seeks to ease the requirements and procedures in the titling of residential lands.

The new law cuts the process of claiming eligibility for titling from 30 years to 10 years.

In a free patent, the government will hand the property title to the occupant without any monetary payment.

Ramos said around 39 million Filipinos are expected to benefit from passage of the new law. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)