DAR and DENR issue joint guidelines for the disposition of untitled privately claimed agricultural lands

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dar web news pix 1 april 3 2014 400The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has issued new guidelines to put order to the distribution of untitled privately claimed agricultural lands (UPALs) through joint DAR-DENR Administrative Order No.03, Series of 2014.

DAR Secretary Virgilio de los Reyes said that the objectives of this Joint Administrative Order (JAO) are to define the limits of authority of DAR and DENR in the coverage of UPALs under CARP and its distribution in excess of the applicable titling limit on the ownership of public lands; to clarify the procedure in the validation and documentation of vested rights of the landowner-claimant, to conduct subdivision survey and disposition of the areas to be retained by DAR for distribution under CARP and the excess of the applicable titling limit to be retained in DENR's jurisdiction; and to clarify the rules and speed-up the disposition of UPALs by the DAR under the applicable titling limit.

April 3 2014 News pix 1De los Reyes noted that the maximum titling limit of twelve (12) hectares under 1987 Constitution shall be observed in the acquisition and disposition of identified UPALs covered under the Operation Land Transfer (OLT) program and the CARP. He said the applicable titling limits of 24 hectares as prescribed under the 1935 and 1973 Constitution will also be respected provided that the vested rights of the landowner-claimant over the land had accrued during the effectivity of these Constitution.

De los Reyes said that the criteria for the determination of whether or not a person has already acquired a recognizable private right over an untitled landholding are continuous occupancy and cultivation for at least thirty (30) years, classification of the land as alienable and disposable, payment of the real estate tax and absence of any adverse claims on the land.

De los Reyes added that the areas in excess of the applicable titling limit shall be retained under the DENR's jurisdiction and surveyed as one (1) lot to be designated as public land.

He disclosed that this joint administrative order should not apply to untitled privately agricultural lands already issued with certification of deposit prior to its effectivity and provided that the validity of any and all acts already undertaken on land acquisition and distribution of private agricultural lands shall still be governed by the rules and procedures governing at the time of the said acts were undertaken.