Olongapo residents receive free land titles from DENR

THE 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.
Executive director Maximo Dichoso of DENR Central Luzon, said 38 residents from East Bajac-Bajac, Gordon Heights, New Banicain, New Cabalan, New Kalalake, Old Cabalan and West Tapinac received residential free patents from the DENR in coordination with the Register of Deeds and the office of Olongapo City mayor James Gordon. 
Six others also received Miscellaneous Sales patents, he added.
“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,” he explained.
 He said 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, or the 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, Dichoso added, must have occupied that piece of land for at least 10 years.
“Without a land title, occupants are considered mere occupants and not owners of that piece of land,” Dichoso explained, adding that land titles, when used as collateral for loans, could serve as an economic resource to stimulate private investment on land development.
The DENR is partnering with local governments and the Register of Deeds in land titling efforts to fast track the processing and issuance of private land titles over alienable and disposable (A&D) lands, or lands that have not been previously issued a land title and therefore considered government property.
DENR Olongapo, in close coordination with the local government, has since mobilized a Systematic Adjudication Team that holds office at the Olongapo City Hall to serve as a one-stop shop for the city’s land titling activities.
A total of 20 cadastral survey projects have already been completed in Central Luzon, covering a combined 313,108 ha in the provinces of Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales.
Land surveys establish the metes and bounds of real estate property claimed by an occupant, and therefore the first step in land titling and registration procedures.