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Talakayang Panlupa continues to reach out to public with its second episode

With the success of the first episode of Talakayang Panlupa, which aired last September 09, 2020, the Land Management Bureau (LMB) continues to extend its services to the public by airing another episode of the said talk show last September 16, 2020.This episode focused on topics concerning Land Titling Programs and Land Claims and Conflicts.

During the first segment, the OIC-Chief of Land Management Division (LMD), Mr. Alex C. Pascua, and Chief, LMD - Patent and Deeds Section (PADS), Engr. Shirley N. Fungo, thoroughly explained the rules and procedures on the DENR’s Land Titling Programs.

Engr. Fungo expounded the “Handog Titulo sa Taguig” Program of LMB which involves   land disposition or awarding of land titles through sale to eligible landless residents of the City of Taguig prior January 6, 1986 as mandated in Proclamation No. 172 dated January 6, 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations, Memorandum Order No. 119 dated October 16, 1987, declaring the four barangays in Taguig, namely: Lower Bicutan, Upper Bicutan, Western Bicutan, and Signal Village as open for disposition. She mentioned that after the cadastral survey, these four barangays in Taguig were subdivided into eight new barangays; such as, Central Signal Village, North Signal Village, South Signal Village, Upper Bicutan, Central Bicutan, Lower Bicutan, New Lower Bicutan, and Western Bicutan.

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Engr. Fungo informed the public of the qualifications and requirements in applying to the said program.

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On the other hand, Mr. Pascua discussed the Residential Free Patent Act (RFPA) or Republic Act No. 10023 approved on March 9, 2010, entitled “An Act Authoring the Issuance of Free Patents to Residential Lands.” The law mandated the DENR to adjudicate untitled public alienable and disposable lands through a more efficient and less costly free patent process.

Mr. Pascua mentioned that RFPA is another mode of administrative titling which grants the land for free, unlike Proclamation No. 172 which disposes the land through sales. Thus, awardees do no pay purchase price for the lot but mandated to pay a minimal application fee plus other administrative fees such as cadastral cost, documentary stamp cost and cost of patent registration for titling.

Likewise, Mr. Pascua tackled the topic on Agricultural Free Patent which is basically intended for the lots devoted for agricultural use like planting of rice, corn or any other crops that are classified as Alienable and Disposable (A & D). He pointed out that there are specific qualifications to be met under this program in order to qualify; such as, a natural born Filipino with thirty (30) years occupancy of continuous in possession of lot. The application may be submitted to the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) for agricultural lot with less than five (5) hectares. The fees and administrative cost includes survey cost, application fee, documentary stamp and cost of registration.

Additionally, Mr. Pascua informed the public of the upcoming deadline for filing of applications for the Agricultural Free Patent which is on December 31, 2020 pursuant to Republic Act No. 9176. With this, he encouraged the public to apply for their agricultural lots at the CENRO which has jurisdiction over their specific lands.

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In the second segment of the show, Atty. Marlou P. Alutaya, Chief of Legal Division, discussed steps and procedures in filing complaints and protest against public land applications, Atty. Alutaya mentioned various issues involving lands all over the Philippines wherein most often they file their complaint to the LMB. The protest or complaints usually involve issues on conflicting claims of ownership, encroachment, and overlapping of lot boundaries.

However, Atty. Alutaya clarified that LMB’s jurisdiction to resolve protests covers only Friar Lands and Proclamation No. 172. She briefly explained that Friar Lands are vast tracts of lands acquired by the Philippine Government from religious order and private corporations in 1902, which is now considered as the patrimonial property of the government. The mode of disposition of this is through sale pursuant to Act 1120 or the Friar Lands Act. Examples of friar lands are Piedad Estate in Quezon City, Pandi Bulacan Estate in Bulacan, Banilad Estate and Minglanilla Estate in Cebu.

Also, Atty. Alutaya said that all protests concerning friar lands must be filed at LMB. She added that those who cannot file personally their protest at LMB, may opt to file at the DENR Regional Offices (ROs) where the lot is located. Said protest should then be endorsed to the LMB by the concerned Regional Office.

Moreover, Atty. Alutaya further emphasized that it is only the LMB that has the sole jurisdiction in resolving disputes involving friar lands. She likewise mentioned the requirements in filing a protest pursuant to DAO No. 2016-31, better known as, “Procedure in the Investigation and Resolution of Land Claims and Conflicts Cases.”

Atty. Alutaya clarified that the documents accompanying the protest will be verified by the LMB. In case of lacking documents/requirements, LMB will notify the protestants and give them a period of 15 days to comply.  If they fail to submit within the reglementary period, the protest will be dismissed without prejudice. Meaning, the protestant can still re-file the protest the moment the requirements are completed.

She also mentioned that in the process of filing a protest, like in any other court, a mediation will be conducted before filing in Court. The LMB adopts the DAO No. 2016-30, entitled “Guidelines in the Conduct of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in Land Management and Disposition.” Atty. Alutaya said they practice Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve such land disputes fastly, efficiently, and economically. This is being handled by trained DENR & LMB personnel who undergone formal training in ADR course. To date, most of the cases in Taguig were resolved thru ADR proceedings. She proudly and excitedly informed the public that ADR is now a viable option in settling land disputes.

Before the program ends, the land experts wished that viewers will look forward to the other episodes to be aired via LMB Official Facebook Page (DENR-Land Management Bureau) every Wednesday for the whole month of September.

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By: Ivy Atienza