Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan recently issued Administrative Order No. 04, series of 2016 creating a Technical Working Group (TWG) to come up with individual survey plans of identified city needs from the available technical sources as one of the requirements in the processing and issuance of special patents.
Considering the city has identified several parcels of lots for public purposes, these identified sites need to be segregated from the alienable and disposable areas and subsequently, the issuance of free patents.
The TWG will be chaired by the city planning and development coordinator to be co-chaired by the chief of the surveys and mapping division of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Administrative Region.
The members include the officer-in-charge of the Penro, land management officer III, officer-in-charge and land management officer I of the Cenro, survey man, all of the DENR-CAR, engineer II and math aide of the A.O. 504 clearing committee, DENR-CAR, engineering assistant of the city engineer’s office; engineering assistant of the DPWH-BCDEO, and administrative assistant III of the CPDO.
The city has allocated five million pesos from the 2015 supplemental budget for the individual survey of areas identified as city needs.
City officials earlier expressed reservation with the implementation of the Free Patent Law because allowing the subdivision of lots that are above 200 sqm. can be abused by landowners by availing of the Free Patent Law because under the new law, multiple applications may be made up to 12 hectares of land owned by claimants nationwide resulting to land monopoly.
However, the city and DENR-CAR officials agreed that the Free Patent Law runs counter to the city’s present procedure of disposing alienable and disposable lots and thus, inapplicable to the city’s setting as a townsite reservation.
Residential free patents have a maximum 200 sqm. in highly urbanized cities like Baguio, while, townsite sales applications have a maximum of 1,000 sqm. (JA)