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DENR told to prioritize titling of gov't lands

CEBU, Philippines - The personnel of the Land Management Bureau under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have been ordered to prioritize the titling of all untitled government lands.

In his memorandum order addressed to all DENR regional offices, Secretary Ramon Paje explained that his directive is to protect government lands from encroachment by unscrupulous persons.

“Securing formal titles for all government lands will prevent unscrupulous land syndicates encroaching government lands. Illegal titling has become an avenue of all sorts of corruption that’s why we are initiating this action to stave off such misdeeds from happening,” Paje said. 

He added that the titling program of government lands will cover untitled lands owned by national agencies, state colleges and universities, public schools, and local government units.

In Cebu and other parts of Central Visayas, there are several parcels of government lands that are still untitled.

Paje ordered the DENR regional offices to immediately conduct an inventory of untitled lands owned by various government entities and instrumentalities, including those of local government units.

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According to Paje, his order is in consonance with the thrust of the Aquino government to institute reforms in the country’s land administration and management.

Untitled areas intended for public purposes by virtue of special laws and proclamations shall likewise be covered by the titling program, Paje explained.

LMB Director Allan Barcena explained the Public Land Act provides that a special patent can be issued in favor of government instrumentalities or institutions over alienable and disposable lands that are devoted for public purposes.

At present, some of the government untitled lots in the mountains of Cebu and other parts of the region are being cultivated by the farmers. (FREEMAN)

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