The head office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently created a Task Force to fast track the processing and distribution of residential and agricultural free patents for the Community of Typhoon Yolanda Survivors and Partners (CYSP) in the Province of Eastern Samar.

According to DENR Survey and Mapping Division Chief Ramon Unay, the Task Force was created to address the request of the CYSP for speedy processing and distribution of free patents in the municipalities of Lawaan, Balangiga, and Giporlos in Eastern Samar.

He also said that the creation of the Task Force by the Central Office is in support to a DENR Regional Special Order issued in May of this year which authorized the creation of a composite team to address the key land issues affecting Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Engr. Unay disclosed that some of the issues identified by the regional composite team include difficulty in acquiring titles for shelter reconstruction in Lawaan, Balangiga, Giporlos, Hernani, Gen. Macarthur and Llorente resulting to the delay in the construction and delivery of houses to survivor-beneficiaries. Also, most of the beneficiaries of the shelter assistance are not affected by the delineation of the 40-meter easement or the no build/no permanent dwelling zone, and monuments are not visible on the ground hindering the identification of the rightful beneficiaries.

Actions by the composite team to remedy the identified issues include completion of foreshore survey/delimitation of the concerned three (3) municipalities and overlaying of same to the existing Cadastral Map for transmission to the Municipal Assessor, validation of survey claimants along the 40m strip by the Brgy. Chairman together with the USWAG ESTE Organization, holding of barangay assemblies facilitated by the respective barangay councils, DENR-CENRO and partner NGOs, and extending assistance relative to land titling activity.

“The merging of efforts by the DENR-R8 Composite Team and the recently created Task Force by the DENR Central Office is expected to finally benefit its target beneficiaries. We are optimistic that the strengthened Task Force shall expedite the processing and distribution of free patents for the Community of Typhoon Yolanda Survivors and Partners in Eastern Samar”, Engr. Unay says.

The newly created Task Force is headed by Engr. Henry Pacis of the Land Management Bureau (LMB) DENR Central Office. Its Vice-chairman is DENR 8 Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Carlito M. Tuballa, with members from the DENR 8 Survey and Mapping Division, PENROs and CENROs of affected areas.

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