Applications for free patent accepted until yearend

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    Farmers who want to avail of the government’s agricultural free patent program have until the end of the month to file their application, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

    The DENR said this deadline is final.

    Republic Act 9176 issued in 2002 had set the filing of applications for free patent and judicial confirmation of imperfect and incomplete titles to alienable and disposable lands of public domain to Dec. 31, 2020.

    Agricultural free patents are land grants awarded to natural-born Filipino citizens in actual occupation and cultivation for at least 30 years of alienable and disposable lands not more than 12 hectares and have paid the corresponding real property taxes.

    “Our field offices continue to accept agricultural free patent applications to give those who have been cultivating their lots for a long time the chance to have the same titled in their names,” said Emelyne Talabis, director of the Land Management Bureau.

    Applicants need to submit an accomplished application form; tax declaration; deed of sale; extra judicial settlement; waiver of eights; and certification from the municipal circuit or regional trial court concerned that there is no pending land registration case involving the land being applied for.

    Other requirements are: an approved survey plan with technical description; certification of status of land from the Land Registration Authority, if the municipality is under cadastral proceedings or if there is an old survey; certification that the land applied for is alienable and disposable; and documentary stamp.

    Ernesto Adobo Jr., DENR undersecretary for legal, administration, human resources and legislative affairs, said all subsisting and new applications filed on or before December 31 will continue to be processed for the fiscal year 2021.

    Adobo added regional offices can still process requests for subdivision of lots for titling purposes after the deadline but acceptance of agricultural free patent applications can only resume if a bill seeking to extend or remove the deadline for filing is approved. – Jed Macapagal