BOUNDARY DISPUTE IN BANENGBENG, SABLAN, SOLVED!
by: Natalie Delmas-Bantasan
A group of farmers from Banengbeng, Sablan, Benguet, referred to as the first party, visited the Provincial Office of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) in Benguet in January this year (2021) to seek a solution to their common problem. They alleged that the land they are tilling and occupying is included in the Collective Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA), with title No. OCT CLOA-13420 was awarded to four Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs), referred to as the second party.
The first party found out about said problem when a cadastral survey was presented to them in one of the meetings of their clan. They have a strong belief that the land they inherited from their parents and presently tilling and occupying is included in the said CLOA. That problem led to sleepless nights, anxiety, and acrimony with their cousins who were named Farmer Beneficiaries in the CLOA. The first party presented their respective tax declarations as proof of their possession. They alleged that a problem of cadastral survey exists in the said Barangay because some farmer-beneficiaries of either CLOAs or Free Patents are complaining of boundary overlapping. Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officer (PARPO) II Virginia D. Aycud deputized the staff of the Legal Division, and Land Tenure Section (LTS) to conduct research to evaluate the claim of the said farmers.
The LTS staff conducted research at the Land Management Service of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (LMS-DENR), and plotted the landholding through the technical description of the Lot number specified in the CLOA title to the technical description of the same Lot Number in the cadastral survey of Barangay Banengbeng. Engr. Perazo of DAR-LTS found out that there seems a problem when the landholding is plotted through Google Earth. A relocation survey was conducted with the presence of representatives from both parties and adjoining owners, which result was eventually presented to them.
True enough, the suspicion of James Rafael, et al, proved true. The landholding they are tilling and occupying is within the CLOA. The CLOA awardees, upon knowing that there is an encroachment to the landholding of the five farmers, acceded to the result and allowed them to file a Petition for their inclusion in the CLOA.
Petition for inclusion of the four farmers was filed at the Regional Office of DAR-CAR. The said office through the Regional Director granted the Petition for Inclusion of the farmers which is final and executory. The CLOA was submitted to the Registry of Deeds for annotation of the names of James A. Rafael and four others.
The said farmers were very happy that their names have been annotated in the CLOA. They said that they are the rightful owner of the land since they have inherited it from their predecessors and interest who had been tilling the lands since time immemorial. They are grateful to the DAR-Benguet staff and the Regional Director for heeding their cause. They said: “makaturog kamin ti nasayaat. Saan kamin nga agnernerbyos nga baka mapaikkat kami iti sumarsaruno nga aldaw iti lote nga gargardenen me ta addan diay nagan me idiay CLOA” (We can sleep well at night. We will not get nervous that someday someone will eject us from the land since our names have been annotated in the CLOA). They added, to make the land more productive because their ownerships have been secured. One of them concluded: “napudot ti daga, adu ti aga-apa nga agkakabagian gapu iti daga, agyaman kami iti DAR ta napardas da nga sinolbar ti problema me ken dagijay kakasinsin me nga nailak-aman ti daga me ta si-aayat nga nang acceptar nga adda ti kamali idiay CLOA.”