Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) distributed free land titles to residents of seven barangays in Olongapo City as part of government’s land distribution and poverty-alleviation program.

Thirty eight residents from East Bajac-Bajac, Gordon Heights, New Banicain, New Cabalan, New Kalalake, Old Cabalan, and West Tapinac received residential free patents while six others got Miscellaneous Sales patents said Maximo Dichoso, DENR regional director.  ”This is just the first wave of land distribution program of the DENR after the completion of the cadastral survey project of Olongapo City under CAD 1226-D,” Dichoso explained.

Cadastral survey projects involved surveying extensive tracts of previously unsurveyed or incompletely surveyed lands in towns, cities, and provinces to expedite land registration and promote land valuation and taxation efforts of local governments.  Under Republic Act 10023 otherwise known as New Free Patent Act, a Filipino citizen may apply for a free patent title over a maximum of 200 square meters of residential land in highly urbanized cities.  The applicant must have occupied that piece of land for at least 10 years.

DENR is partnering with local governments and the Register of Deeds in land titling efforts to fast track processing and issuance of private land titles over alienable and disposable (A&D) lands, or those that have not been previously issued a title and therefore considered government property.

Its Olongapo branch, in close coordination with the local government, has since mobilized a Systematic Adjudication Team that holds office at the city hall to serve as a one-stop shop for the land titling activities.  A total of 20 cadastral survey projects have already been completed in Central Luzon covering a combined 313,108 hectares in Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales.

Land surveys establish the bounds of real estate property claimed by an occupant, and therefore the first step in land titling and registration procedures. (WLB/CLJD-PIA 3)

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