The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is set to lift the ban on land titling in seven towns in Palawan this year.

Felizardo Cayatoc, provincial environment and natural resources officer-in-charge in the province, said Tuesday they will issue the order within the year.

“We are expecting na mayroon ng development ngayong taon kasi sabi nila mali-lift pero sa seven municipalities muna ang initial. As of now, kino-confirm namin kung ano ang seven municipalities na ‘to (We are expecting that there will be a development this year because they said it will be lifted in seven towns initially. As of now, we’re confirming where these municipalities are),” Cayatoc said.

The suspension of land titling in Palawan was implemented by the DENR in 2015 after former secretary Ramon Paje cited numerous cases of land titles awarded to moneyed or influential individuals allegedly in connivance with the agency’s personnel.

Cayatoc said land titles filed before the suspension are still waiting for the approval of the DENR.

“Nag-aantay din kami ng instruction kasi sabi nila last year ay maglalabas na raw ngayon. Sa ngayon wala pa rin tayong processing ng title, approval ng plans and acceptance ng application. Pero ‘yong mga application na naabutan ng suspension ay ready naman kasi nai-process namin ‘yon,” he added.

(We are also waiting for instruction because they said last year that they will issue it this year. As of this time, we are not yet processing any title, approval of plans and acceptance of applications. But applications that were filed before the suspension are ready because we’ve processed them.)