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DAR fast tracks survey for land distribution in CamSur

piaLEGAZPI CITY, May 29 (PIA) – The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Bicol bared that Bureau of Land Tenure Improvement Director Leandro Caymo recently visited the province of Camarines Sur to lead the survey assessment on the readiness of lands for distribution in 2014.

DAR Bicol information officer Maria Trinise General said Caymo came over to personally oversee the conduct of an assessment on the land survey activities in Camarines Sur to determine agricultural lands that are due for distribution this year under the government’s agrarian reform program.

Data from DAR Bicol showed that DAR Camarines Sur 2 provincial office has in its list a total area of 10,383 hectares of agricultural lands remaining for land distribution. Out of the 9,097 hectares which are targeted for distribution this year, 5,043 hectares are already with approved survey plans and only a total of 891 hectares remains to be surveyed.

"The rest of the agricultural lands are all in the final stages of on-going survey at the DAR central office and at the Land Management Sector (LMS) of the agency except for the 2,902 hectares under the coverage of Operation Land Transfer (OLT) that are pending for the final notification to the land owners," General said.

Acting Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer Ramon Fuentebella of DAR Camarines Sur 2 provincial office meanwhile acknowledged that support both from the DAR central and regional offices are necessary to expedite the attainment of land distribution targets in the area.

Acting Chief Agrarian Reform Program Officer Priscilla Imperial of the Operations Division is optimistic that their targets will be met hoping that with Caymo’s visit, a directive from DAR central office will soon be issued regarding the OLT lands for the farmer-beneficiaries to finally receive their emancipation patents (EPs).

Imperial explained that even if the tenant farmers are “deemed owners” according to the provisions of Presidential Decree Number 27, this must not be misconstrued as automatic absolute ownership is granted to the tenant farmers over the land they are tilling but payment of just compensation to land owners must first be complied with before full ownership can be awarded to farmer-beneficiaries.

Imperial also revealed the constraints that they are facing that hinders them to achieve swift distribution of lands to the beneficiaries.

She acknowledged that the Land Titling Computerization Project of the Land Registration Authority is causing some delays in the issuance of the Republic of the Philippines (RP) title which is the basis for the generation of the Certificate of Land Ownership Awards (CLOAs) which are distributed to the farmers as proof of their land ownership.

Another cause of delay is the judicial and administrative reconstitution of certificate of title to reconstruct land titles which were lost or destroyed due to fire, flood or other force majeure which could take years to be decided, Imperial explained.

Another concern is the approval of the survey returns at the LMS takes an average processing period of five months to have a survey approved. LMS is responsible for matters pertaining to land classification, management and disposition of alienable and disposable lands, Imperial added.

Imperial admitted that it would be a lot easier if DAR holds the power in the land processing and distribution activity to control its directions based on their own capabilities in terms of knowledge, skills and budget.

“But we share the responsibilities with other government agencies that also have their own goals to reach and achieve, so these are challenges we just have to overcome by doing the best we can, every step of the way.” Imperial said.

She further revealed that another bottle neck in land distribution is the long process of documentation that compensable lands undertake. As all the other land types such as Government Owned Lands, Voluntary Land Transfer schemes have all been completed at DAR Camarines 2 provincial office, the task which the office now faces is the tedious and arduous work of processing private agricultural lands under the Compulsory Acquisition scheme. (MAL/JJJP/DAR5/PIA5)

Source: http://news.pia.gov.ph/index.php?article=2591401335317

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