In a bid to make public land titling more accessible and transparent, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is bringing operations to different barangays across the country to accept applications for titling of public alienable and disposable lands.
Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu recently issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2019-08 instructing all Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs) and Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) to accept public land titling applications at the barangay level.
“This is part of our continuing effort to simplify, streamline and fast track the disposition of public alienable and disposable lands through free and homestead patents, and we are doing this in strong partnership with local government units (LGUs),” Cimatu said.
Cimatu has tasked the DENR’s Land Management Bureau (LMB) to provide further guidance and technical assistance to ensure maximum results in the implementation of DAO 2019-08, entitled “Applications of Public Land Titling at the Barangay Level.”
LMB Director Emelyne Talabis said that the DAO essentially brings land titling services closer to the people through the barangay.
“We are thrilled that with this new policy, we can impact land owners’ lives by providing a more accessible and transparent service of the government,” Talabis said.
Under the DAO, PENROs and CENROs—in coordination with LGUs and barangay officials—would accept applications for public land titles submitted through the barangay office.
To help facilitate the process, land-related information such as cadastral maps, procedures, streamlined requirements and corresponding fees would also be posted in conspicuous places at barangay halls for easy viewing by the public.
“Instead of the people going to the CENROs which may be far from their residence, it will be the CENRO staff who will go to the barangays to conduct information dissemination and encourage the community to apply for land titling,” Talabis said.
She added that applications can be accepted on-site as long as the requirements are complete.
The LMB, however, clarified that the initial rollout would only allow acceptance of applications in barangays where titling operations are ongoing, and advised the public to be aware of any schedule in their respective villages.
In preparation for the full implementation of the DAO, LMB personnel have already been conducting rapid land tenure appraisal in different regions of the country to determine lots with potential for titling.
The LMB has also started training DENR field personnel and LGU representatives on how to hasten the application process for public land titles.
The DAO tasks the concerned regional offices to submit written and video documentation of the proceedings of the titling operation and submit these to the LMB for monitoring purposes. The documentation shall form part of the database of the Land Administration and Management System (LAMS).
LAMS is an information system designed to provide effective management of the country’s land records, as well as an efficient delivery of land services to the public. It was developed as an innovation under the Land Administration and Management Project, which aims to address the problematic management of voluminous DENR land records.
DAO 2019-08 is consistent with the implementation of DAO 2011-06, which prescribes guidelines for the implementation of public land titling in partnership with LGUs, as well as DAO 2007-09, which aims to simplify, streamline, and fast track the disposition of public alienable and disposable lands through free and homestead patents.