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Over 1,000 free patent titles issued in Region 7

CEBU, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 has issued a total of 1,295 free patents covering at least 40.97 hectares of untitled public alienable and disposable lands which have been zoned as residential.

Under Republic Act 10023 or the New Free Patent Act, the DENR 7 will process a free patent title application to any Filipino citizen who is an actual applicant of a residential land.

DENR-7 executive director Isabelo R. Montejo, in a statement, said that actual residence and continuous possession and occupation of the parcel subject of the application, either by the applicant through her or his predecessor-in-interest, under a bonafide claim of acquisition of ownership, for at least 10 years prior is required in filing an application.

 Residential lands are lands that have been identified and zoned as residential through the appropriate ordinance by a local government unit having jurisdiction over the area.

Of the total, Cebu province received 274 free patents or 49,995 square meters; Bohol with 571 or 182, 829 square meters; Negros Oriental with 444 or 175,202 square meters; and Siquijor with six or 1,295 square meters.

  Free patent on residential land covers untitled residential lands in public alienable and disposable lands that are zoned by local government units as residential areas, including town sites, public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks, delisted and abandoned military camps or reservations.

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 Any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land for at least 10 years may apply for a free patent title.

 Montejo added that this law directs our Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices to process the application within 120 days to include compliance with the required notices and other legal requirements.

 He further said that within 125 days the free patent will be issued or returned as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices has five days to approve or disapprove the patent. (FREEMAN)

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