Investors discouraged by prolonged moratorium on land titling in Palawan

Some stakeholders during an investment forum raise their concerns over the suspension of land titling

Real estate brokers in Palawan have expressed concern over the continued suspension imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on land titling in Palawan, saying this has been discouraging the entry of investors to the province.

Jun Valencia, founding president of the Palawan Real Estate Board (PALREB), aired the sector’s concern during last week’s domestic roadshow for stakeholders spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Board of Investments (BOI).

“What is taking it so long? Matagal na mula noong iutos ang suspension ng land titling sa Palawan. Paano ang pag-iimbita ng gobyerno ng mga investors kung sa lupa naman ay hindi sila matituluhan. Yung titling ang problema kasi may suspension,” he said.

The unprecedented suspension on land titling in Palawan was imposed by the DENR in 2015, reportedly after then-Secretary Ramon Paje noted numerous cases of land titles awarded to moneyed or influential individuals with apparent connivance from the agency’s personnel.

Valencia said the failure of the government to resolve the problem is affecting the investment climate in the province.

“Kasalanan ng ahensya ng ating gobyerno, pero ang buong probinsya ng Palawan ang nagsu-suffer. Dapat ay magtulungan tayo at ang dapat na gagawin is to request the DENR to lift the moratorium kasi daming mga naghihintay,” he added.

Felizardo Cayatoc, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said that the suspension or moratorium is still in effect.

“Sa ngayon ay hindi pa nali-lift ang moratorium” he said.

“May ayusin sa policies, particularly sa mga issues na may problema. Siguro kung may ma-lift man ay yung mga areas na less problematic. Mahuhuli naman ang lifting sa mga areas na may problema at yan ang bibigyan ng guiding policies,” he explained.

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