26,000 farmers given land
Iba, Zambales — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) handed out land titles to more than 26,000 landless farmers in Central Luzon since January this year as part of its thrust to intensify land distribution for 2013.
Under the “Handog Titulo” program, DENR Executive Director Maximo Dichoso said a total of 5,392 land titles that covered 1,947 hectares of land were given to poor farmers in Central Luzon.
Of these, a total of 2,694 land titles covering 1,763 hectares of public lands were distributed under the regular land distribution program of the DENR, and another 1,139 titles covering 84 hectares under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
“Only when farmers are assured of land security are they motivated to develop their lands. The first step, therefore, to achieving agricultural and countryside development is by providing our farmers with land titles,” he explained.
Tirso Parian, DENR Deputy Director for Land Management said another 1,559 land titles were also distributed to farmers under Republic Act 10023, or the New Residential Free Patent Act (RFPA).
Qualified Filipino citizens who are actual occupants of a residential land for at least 10 years are given free patent titles under the RFPA.
DENR records showed that the government land distribution program benefited a total of 77,245 landless farmers in Central Luzon since 1999.
As this developed, the DENR completed 21 cadastral survey projects covering 332, 616 hectares in Bataan, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Zambales.
Cadastral survey projects involved surveying extensive tracts of previously unsurveyed or incompletely surveyed lands in towns, cities, and provinces to expedite land registration and promote land valuation and taxation efforts of local governments.