OVER 2,000 residents and their families in Central Luzon received free patents or land titles from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2020.
The DENR credits this to the improved land administration and management program of the agency in the region that resulted last year in the distribution of 2,249 residential patents covering some 47 hectares.
DENR regional office executive director Paquito Moreno Jr. said the land title distribution has covered some 47 hectares.
"Land title is the most concrete proof of ownership over a land you occupy. And this 'Handog Titulo' program is the modest government contribution in promoting social justice and alleviating poverty in the rural sector," he said.
Moreno said the improved land administration and management is one of the priority programs of Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu that is anchored in the 10-point socio-economic agenda of President Rodrigo Duterte of ensuring security of land tenure, to encourage investments, and address bottlenecks in land management and tilting agencies.
Meanwhile, the DENR Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) in Tarlac awarded last week a special patent to the Provincial Hospital of Tarlac covering more than nine hectares.
The special free patent is covered under Section 4 of Republic Act 10023, or "An Act Authorizing the Issuance of Patents to Residential Lands.
"We hope that this special patent will further empower our health workers in our battle over Covid-19 pandemic," Moreno said, adding that land title provides incentives for investments in land and therefore creates an impetus for sustainable economic development.
Susan Yap, governor of Tarlac, expressed her gratitude to the prompt action of the government to address land issues and concerns in the province.
"Finally, after almost a century of serving the sick people of the Tarlakeños, the Tarlac Provincial Hospital now has its own title registered in its name," she said.
Since 2011, the land distribution program of DENR has benefitted around 345,000 farmers and their families from the issuance of 63,381 land titles covering 19,504 hectares in the region.
The DENR is set to distribute another 1,725 residential free patents this year.