DENR-1 partners with Provincial Government of La Union and Foundation for Economic Freedom for Land Rights and Governance Project


SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region I recently partnered with the Provincial Government of La Union (PGLU) and Foundation for Economic Freedom (a public advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the cause of economic and political liberty, good governance, secure and well-defined property rights) to accelerate the implementation of Public Land Titling under the Residential Free Patent Law (R.A. No. 10023).
The said project seeks to establish more effective and efficient public-private partnership to accelerate land titling and further increase the number of titles issued in the province. It will also facilitate coordination and integration of various land information systems to assist titling and enhance real property tax collection, property valuation, and local land use planning. Also, it seeks to reduce land titling costs for interested applicants.

In line with this, an orientation program for Land Rights and Governance Project was conducted on August 4, 2015 at the Diego Silang Hall, Provincial Capitol of La Union. Twenty (20) representatives from local government units in the Province of La Union (City/Municipal Assessor’s Office and City/Municipal Planning and Development Office) participated in the said event to discuss concerns as stated in the roles and responsibilities in the Memorandum of Partnership and Agreement (MOPA).

DENR-1 Regional Director Paquito T. Moreno, Jr. mentioned that as part of the key mandate of the national organization on the management and disposition of public lands, land patents should be distributed efficiently. Moreno shares that the completion of the Cadastral Survey Program in Province of La Union opens an estimated 118,658 lots or 67,983 hectares up for titling.

“We believe that when more titling of residential lands, agricultural lands, and school sites happen, inclusive growth take place and more people may now claim real value, in terms of fixed boundaries, settlement of ownership, increased taxation, and more leverages amongst our people in their business transactions among others”, Moreno added.
Provincial Administrator Dr. Geoffrey S. Tilan, who represented Gov. Manuel C. Ortega expressed his deep appreciation and gratitude towards the said partnership and affirmed the Local Government’s full support.

The said activity also included the distribution of special patents to five (5) Public Elementary Schools in La Union including Bugbugcao Elementary School, Nadsaag Elementary School, San Felipe Elementary School, Dasay Elementary School, and Bacsayan Elementary School.

The orientation on land rights was facilitated by Atty. George Katigbak of FEF, Inc. and La Union PENR Officer Samuel C. Songcuan with additional information from Licensing Patents and Deeds Division Chief Manuel G. Ydia. An open forum was set for clarifications and questions from the audience and guests.

The Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) is expected to be finalized for slated ceremonial signing on August 15, 2015. The MOPA will open more opportunities in the future including increasing the number of issued titles, easier and simpler land titling process, reduced land titling cost, easier access to credits with titles as collaterals, and increased real property tax collection where the number of titles issued increased from business and property taxes. (Divine Joy DG. Picar)