DENR plans to consult LGUs on quick processing of land titles

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/18 February) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 is set to hold consultations with local government units (LGUs) in a bid to establish measures that would help fast track the processing and issuance of titles for alienable and disposable lands within the region.

Morakie Domanday, DENR-12 regional technical director for lands, said they are specifically planning to sit down with the region’s provincial governors as well as city and municipal mayors to draw their support for the integration of land titling activities in the programs and operations of the LGUs.

He said they will present the provisions of Department Administrative Order (DAO) 2011-06, which provides for the guidelines for the implementation of public land titling in partnership with the LGUs.

“We will meet the local government officials, even with the elections fast approaching, to present various land titling issues and concerns and find ways to fast track their processing and issuance, especially those concerning alienable and disposable lands,” the official said in a statement.

Domanday said there is a need to define their partnership with the LGUs to improve the land administration and management systems at the local level.

“Titling activities should be integrated in their (LGUs) local programs,” he said.

He stressed that LGUs play a significant role in the implementation of land titling activities and other programs and projects of the DENR as provided for under Section 3 of the Local Government Code of 1991.

Under DENR DAO 2011-06, the LGUs and the DENR would jointly create composite land adjudication team that will work under the supervision of the DENR land management officer.

The team will help the DENR in the titling of alienable and disposable lands at the city and municipal levels, it said.

The DAO authorizes all the regional executive directors (REDs) of the DENR to designate permanent local officials or personnel involved in the titling program as deputy public land inspectors.

The LGUs were also encouraged to create a land information office to facilitate the exchange of information, reconciliation and reconstruction of data from different local offices and national agencies involved in the titling program.

Elmer Mercado, DENR-12 Land Management Division chief, said their collaboration with LGUs in land titling activities is vital for the resolution of some land-related and boundary conflicts in the region.

Region 12, which is also known as the Soccsksargen Region, comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

The provincial government of South Cotabato has a pending boundary dispute with Davao del Sur, specifically over areas bordering the mining towns of Tampakan and Kiblawan.

Koronadal City and Tupi town in South Cotabato as well as Maitum and Kiamba towns in Sarangani also have longtime boundary issues.

Aside from the settlement of boundary disputes, Mercado said the resolution of land titling issues and concerns would help speed up the resolution of land conflicts in some parts of the region.

“The resolution of these land conflicts would eventually improve the peace and order situation in some affected communities,” he said.

Mercado added that it would help improve the income of LGUs through increased collections on realty property taxes as well as help enhance economic activities and investments in the area. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)