MALASIQUI, Pangasinan – A total of 30 residents of upland Barangays Duplas and Maliclico in Sudipen town, La Union province on Tuesday received agricultural land titles through the Handog Titulo Program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
In a phone interview, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) land management officer William Cabanban said they are now part of the 361 beneficiaries of the program who have received their agricultural land titles from January to Sept. 26 this year, covering a total land area of 89.4 hectares.
“Nagbara-barangay kami to encourage them para mag-avail sa programa way back in 2020 (We went from village to village to encourage the residents to avail of the program way back in 2020),” he said.
The Handog Titulo Program is an ongoing project of the DENR and the Registry of Deeds, aiming to expedite land titling for qualified applicants.
Cabanban said the program also covers residential free patents.
In La Union, 366 residential land titles covering 8.4 hectares of land were distributed to applicants from January to Sept. 26 this year, he said.
“May application fee ‘yong iba at provided na kumpleto ang documents nila ay pina-process o tinutulungan naming sila na kumuha ng mga requirements (An application fee applies to some and provided they have complete documents, we process or we help them get the necessary requirements),” Cabanban said.
Processing an agricultural free patent takes a maximum of 110 days while a residential free patent takes a maximum of 120 days, as mandated under the law, he added.
Cabanban said they are urging landowners who do not yet have their land titles to avail of the program as it could serve as their protection against encroachment or land grabbing.
“Tax declaration is only for taxation while land title is a proof of ownership,” he said. (PNA)