(File Photo)

As 2021 comes to a close, the Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) expressed its continued commitment to work on an efficient system to manage and dispose of lands for the “new normal.”

“Though the LMB has achieved much in 2021, we remain committed to the effective implementation of policies and programs that are responsive to the demands of the public especially in the administration and management of alienable and disposable public lands in the year ahead,” said DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu.

The DENR chief recently signed the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) 11573, which aims to improve the confirmation process for imperfect land titles. It amended Commonwealth Act 141 or The Public Land Act and Presidential Decree 1529 or the Property Registration Decree.

The IRR of RA 11573 provides the guidelines in the processing of agricultural free patent applications with the streamlined process to facilitate the land titling program of the DENR.

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In 2021, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte signed RA 11573 removing the deadline for agricultural free patent applications and reducing the required period of land possession.

“We will continue to leverage on digital transformation, partnerships, as well as on creating new policies to remain in the forefront of improving the land administration function of the Department,” said DENR-LMB Director Atty. Emelyne V. Talabis

To ease land transactions, the DENR has partnered with the Land Registration Authority on system linkage and exchange of land information databases of both agencies to make the registration of DENR-approved plans and DENR-issued patents more efficient and secure.

The Rapid Land Tenure Appraisal inventory approach is also being conducted by the DENR to get more accurate land data and determine the remaining scope for land titling.

Set to be completed in 2025, the DENR, through its regional offices, and Provincial and Community Environmental and Natural Resources Offices, has forged a total of 31 memorandum of partnership agreements with local government units, of which 20 municipalities are involved in the training of field personnel.

In total, the DENR offices have also prepared 16 Consolidated Cadastral Maps and produced 14 Land Tenure Profiles.

Moreover, the LMB continues to enhance the Land Administrations Management System (LAMS) being implemented in the DENR regional offices, which include the pilot operation of the Public Land Application, automation of land transaction services, as well as the Inspection, Verification and Approval of Surveys to eliminate red tapes and nuances in the processing of land surveys and titling applications.

A total of 42,146 survey plans using the LAMS Philippines were approved from January to November 15, 2021, broken down into 36,766 survey plans for simple subdivision and 5,380 survey plans for complex subdivision.

As of October 2021, the LMB has also served 1,701 requests from its Online Land Records Services through elandservices.lmbdenr.ph.

It also received the FOI (Freedom of Information) Service Experience Award from the Freedom of Information Philippines for its transparency and immediacy in providing the requesting public access to land records and information.

Likewise, the LMB was named as the Best Staff Bureau for the Performance-Based Bonus of the DENR in 2020.

This year, it has issued 105 deeds of sales or deeds of conveyance for applicants of patrimonial properties of the government.

On Proclamation 172 or the Disposition of Taguig Lots, the LMB has issued 82 Orders of Award and Deeds of Sales out of its target of 80.

For titling of agricultural and residential free patents, the Land Sector transmitted a total of 15,697 agricultural free patents covering 9,328.3470 hectares to the Registry of Deeds (ROD) from January to October 31, 2021, while 21,824 residential free patents were transmitted to the ROD covering 575.8309 hectares.

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