June 24, 2024

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The go-vernment’s effort to expedite land tit-ling to provide security and protection to the land owners over their occupied lots made headway in Benguet with the awarding of land titles to more than 100 families from the different towns of the province. 

Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera Director Paquito Moreno, Registry of Deeds – Benguet lawyer Marceli Merino, Benguet Rep. Eric Go Yap, and La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda awarded the land titles under the Handog Titulo program of the DENR during the recent Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair in the capital town.

The Handog Titulo program is a continuing program aimed at expediting the processing of public land patent applications and issuing them to eligible applicants nationwide. It seeks to increase land title distribution to alleviate poverty and stimulate growth and development.

Moreno said land disposition is among the priority thrusts and directions of the DENR and it aims to award eligible individuals and households with patents which would give them formal property rights for the lands they have been occupying or have been using based on communal land tenure for years.

“We, in the DENR-Cordillera, have put this (land disposition) as one of our top agenda. With our land disposition program, we reach out to our community people, educate them about free land titling for residential, agricultural, and even government lands, and process the applications of those eligible for the eventual issuance of their patents,” Moreno said.

“We don’t simply want land for the landless. We want land ownership for them. We want to do this because we do not want our people to be illegal occupants in their communities,” he said.

Moreno told the beneficiaries that the award of patents does not only grant them rights to their lands but also responsibilities. “Apart from paying your taxes, the government expects you to utilize your land according to their purpose, with a sense of environmental responsibility.”

DENR-Cordillera Assistant Director for Technical Services Benjamin Ventura also reminded the beneficiaries to take good care of their land, not to sell it but to pass it on to their children and grandchildren.

Moreno said through the support of the various partners such as the Office of the Congressman, they can expand their land distribution program.

“This is just the beginning. With the help of our partners in the local government and regional line agencies, our land disposition program will be supplemented by housing, livelihood, and other projects that promote land tenure security; proper management, and sustainable use of lands; poverty reduction; socio-economic upliftment; and protection of indigenous people’s rights,” he said.

Yap thanked the DENR-Cordillera for the swift action on the application of land titles. He assured his constituents that he will work closely with the DENR and other government offices for the needed land classification and other requirements so that more alienable and disposable lands maybe issued to eligible applicants in the province of Benguet.

Hangga’t pwedeng ibigay sa tao, they want to give it, but we have this law on land classification, and it is my job to file reclassification para ‘yung mga alienable and disposable natin na lupa mas dumami po and ‘yung mga pwede nating ipamigay, mas marami po tayong matituluhan,” Yap said.

The new land owners expressed gratitude to the government for granting them lands they call their own.

Ti plano mi ditoy inpatawid ni tatang mi ket pangtalon ken pagmulaan ti nateng ta agricultural isuna. Thank you so much to the government ken kasta met dagiti timultulong, ti DENR ken ni Rep. Eric Yap,” said Rose Abance Dinagwatan.

Garden na isu nga mulaan mi adis nateng ta sya pay nan nua ed kad-an mi ed Buguias. 2017 na ay inapply mi ed edwani ay naawat ko. Salamat ken congressman, ti DENR,” Meyer Dalog said.

Elisa Tomas said she will give the land as inheritance to her children.

Dagiti annak mi ti makinbagi. Ipatawid mi kanyada, she said.” – Redjie Melvic Cawis with Jester Batanes and Novelyn Metua