Updated June 18, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has come up with a simplified procedure for disposing alienable and disposable (A & D) residential lands through miscellaneous sales application (MS).
Secretary Lito Atienza said the simplified procedure will benefit the people not only in terms of shorter processing time but will also boost their socio-economic situation as land owners.
“Land is a prized possession among our people, particularly in the rural areas. Not only because land serves as a capital resource for them but culturally, having a title to the land they till or to where their houses are built means a lot to the Filipino family – a source of livelihood and a security to the future of their children,” Atienza said.
The new titling guidelines are contained in DENR Administrative Order 2009-05. Among the major reforms set forth in the order are the exclusion from the requirements the certification from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that the area is no longer needed for government projects and public bidding. Instead, said Atienza, a clearance from the concerned municipal planning and development office will suffice.
“A clearance from the municipal planning and development office of the concerned local government unit will suffice to conduct the sale of the land through MSA. This will take for only about three months as compared with the old procedure which required a certification from DPWH which can sometimes take years to complete the processing procedure,” Atienza said.
The DENR chief said another important provision of DAO 2009-05 is the stipulation requiring mass appraisal of all alienable and disposable residential lands in the locality, and the coming up with an appraised value of the parcels of lands based on the capability of the applicants to pay.
“Although other factors such as the assessed value from the local assessor’s office, cadastral survey cost, cost of titling and socio-economic data of the area are also considered in determining the price of the parcel, the capacity (to pay) of the prospective applicant/buyer should be given important consideration,” Atienza said.
“Making our land resources affordable to every Filipino citizen is the best mechanism for ensuring the equitable distribution of the country’s natural wealth, which will redound to enhanced economic growth of the country through improved security of land tenure,” Atienza added.
The mass appraisal, according to Atienza, is also aimed at making the price of the parcels available to the buyers even before they file their application for the purchase under MSA.
The DENR administrative order also provides that for parcels of land of the public domain not exceeding 1,000 square meters, whether these are non-timber or non-mineral, but suitable for residential purposes and not needed for public service may be acquired through direct sale and without bidding.
Persons qualified to purchase said lands are Filipino citizens who do not own a home lot in the city or municipality where the land is located. They must also occupy the land applied for in good faith and must have constructed their houses thereon and reside therein.
The Order stipulates that an appraisal committee composed of the community environment and natural resources officer (CENRO) or a land management officer, the local assessor and local planning officer shall be created by the DENR regional dxecutive director to determine the price of the lands.