DENR distributes 5,000 hectares to landless farmers in C. Luzon

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THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here distributed a total of 10,487 land titles covering 5,089 hectares of public lands to landless farmers in Central Luzon in a bid to redistribute socio-economic wealth and promote social justice.

Newly installed executive director Maximo Dichoso said this figure is in addition to the 1,043 land titles covering 22 hectares already distributed under the regular titling program of the DENR.

Under Republic Act 10023, or the New Free Patent Act, more than 4,000 patents were distributed last year to qualified beneficiaries, covering 70 hectares of residential lots, he added.

“The New Free Patent Act issues titles called “patents” to deserving beneficiaries to legalize their private land rights on residential lands,” explained Tirso Parian, deputy director for land management services.

To qualify for a free patent under RA 10023, a Filipino Citizen should be an actual occupant of a residential land for at least 10 years, among other requirements.

Under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP), a total of 6,494 titles were also given away to landless farmers, covering 5,002 hectares of public lands, he added.

Last year’s land distribution program benefited a total of 57,650 landless farmers, and brought to 87,721 the total number of land titles covering 53,354 hectares of public lands already distributed throughout Central Luzon since 1999.

The DENR is set to complete four cadastral survey projects in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Aurora, and Zambales before the end of the year to support government’s land distribution program and help settle land disputes cases and boundary conflicts in these areas.

The 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.

The DENR resolved a total of 130 land claims and conflict cases last year while more than P15 million in government revenues were collected from private sales, fines, rentals and leases of public lands.