The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government units are working together to speed up land titling and improve the country’s land management and administration.

DENR Assistant Regional Director for Management Services Arturo N. Salazar said, “In partnership with the LGU, the DENR will implement a strategy called Rapid Land Tenure Appraisal (RLTA). This will provide an accurate inventory of the remaining untitled lands which may be subjected to titling”.

He added that the RLTA which includes profiling or assessment, and systematic adjudication including free surveying and free titling was introduced by DENR’s Land Management Bureau (LMB) to support Agenda 6 of the present administration which seeks to ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments, and address bottlenecks in land management and titling processes.

For Eastern Visayas, the RLTA will be implemented in the municipalities of Villaba, Leyte; Malitbog, Southern Leyte; Culaba, Biliran; Basey, Samar; and Lapinig, Northern Samar this year.

To strengthen DENR-LGU partnership and to ensure that activities for RLTA are well-implemented, the DENR will enter into a Memorandum of Partnership Agreement (MOPA) with said municipalities. Recently, a MOPA signing was held with LGU Lapinig, Northern Samar and Villaba, Leyte.

Along with this, a MOPA between the DENR and municipality of Gamay which was piloted to jump start the RLTA implementation in 2018, and Mapanas, Northern Samar where RLTA will be implemented next year was also inked.

The MOPA stipulates the roles and responsibilities of both parties which include creation of land management office at the municipalities concerned and assigning staff from the DENR and LGU to conduct land titling activities within their territorial jurisdiction.

“This is bringing government services closer to the people through the LGUs. Avail of the land titling services in your area while the project is being implemented”, Director Salazar encouraged the public.

He also requested the LGU officials and their constituents to extend full cooperation and assistance to the implementation of RLTA activities to expedite the land titling process. He stressed that land titles are proof of absolute ownership which will improve the social and economic status of the land owners and the municipality.

Meanwhile, the LGU officials are enthusiastic with the new government project and optimistic that this will address land disputes within their jurisdiction. They are hopeful that the RLTA will provide a clearer figure of the revenue their municipality will yield from the land.