The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has good news for owners of untitled agricultural lands.
In 2021, the DENR issued Administrative Order No. 38 prescribing the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 11573 entitled “An Act Improving the Confirmation Process for Imperfect Land Titles, Amending for the Purpose Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended, otherwise known as the Public Land Act and Presidential Decree No. 1529, as amended, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree”.
The creation of the IRR is also in pursuant to related land laws such as RA No. 11231 or the Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act; RA No. 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act; and DENR Memorandum Circular No. 2021-07 or the Adoption of Online Public Land Application Module under the LAMS Philippines.
In the IRR, qualified applicant should be any natural-born citizen of the Philippines who is not the owner of more than 12 hectares of land; continuously occupying or cultivating the land for at least 20 years prior to the filing of application for agricultural patent; and a good payer of real estate tax.
To simplify and harmonize these laws and to have a common understanding on its implementation, the DENR Cagayan Valley has recently conducted a leveling off meeting among the local government units (LGUs) in five provinces of the region.
Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan of DENR earlier underscored the importance of land titling for LGUs because of acquiring additional revenue that boost economic resources of cities and municipalities and improving the lives of patent beneficiaries.
In Quirino, provincial environment chief Mariam Frances Malana expressed optimism to the partner LGUs that cascading the new law will address concerns on processing of land titles. “We thank the support of LGUs for helping us in this endeavor,” she said.
Licenses, Patents and Deeds Division chief Remedios Pauig discussed the key provisions focusing on eliminating the deadline for agricultural free patent application and reducing the required period of land possession. “We would like to solicit your support in streamlining the process of land titling,” Engr. Pauig said as she stressed expediting the process will help applicants ease their burden to acquire land titles.
The law provides the timeframe in the processing and approval; and transmittal of patents to the Registry of Deeds (ROD) dependent to the limitation area and signing authority.
The DENR shall process patent application within 120 days to be approved by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer for below five hectares; Regional Executive Director for at least five up to 10 hectares; and DENR Secretary for more than 10 up to 12 hectares. Upon approval, the patent shall be transmitted to the ROD for registration within five days.
The processing of agricultural free patent applications shall only commence when complete documentary requirements are submitted to the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Office where the subject lot is located.
OIC, PENR Officer Eliseo Mabasa discussed with Cagayan province partner-LGUs the salient points of RA 11573 and its IRR highlighting their role in public land titling process especially in securing requirements such as zoning certificate and tax declaration.
Meanwhile, Cagayan provincial assessor Alice Emma Pason and municipal planning and development officer of LGU Iguig Priscilla Brion discussed the requirements in securing tax declaration and zoning certificate.
For his part in a meeting in Nueva Vizcaya, PENR Officer Giovannie Magat said there is an optimal need to reconcile LGU policies with DENR to fast-track the issuance of patents.
Also embodied in said DAO the procedures of patent processing which include preliminary assessment and acceptance of application; posting of notice; investigation and inspection; preparation of judicial form and other forms; endorsement of application to the concerned signatory (PENRO, RED or Secretary); and transmittal to the Registry of Deeds.
PENR Officers Orly Cariazo and Victoria Baliuag of Isabela and Batanes, respectively, also convened the local officials in their provinces to review and discuss similar and related provisions of the laws earlier mentioned.
With various issues discussed and deliberated, the activity was also actively participated in by CENR Officers, environment committee chairpersons of Sangguniang Panlalawigan and Sangguniang Bayan, municipal environment and natural resources officers, municipal planning and development officers, provincial and municipal assessors, and other LGU and DENR officials and employees.#