The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 has issued a total of 1,295 free patents totaling 409,698 square meters or 40.97 hectares of untitled public alienable and disposable lands which have been zoned as residential.
Under Republic Act 10023, or the New Free Patent Act, the DENR 7 will process a free patent title application to any Filipino citizen who is an actual applicant of a residential land.
DENR 7 Regional Executive Director Dr. Isabelo R. Montejo said actual occupation, actual residence and continuous possession and occupation of the parcel subject of the application, either by herself or himself or through her or his predecessor-in-interest, under a bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership, for at least ten years prior is required in filing an application.
Residential lands are lands that have been identified and zoned as residential through the appropriate ordinance by a local government unit (LGU) having jurisdiction over the area.
Of the total, Cebu province received 274 free patents or 49,995 square meters; Bohol with 571 or 182, 829 square meters; Negros Oriental with 444 or 175,202 square meters; and Siquijor with six or 1,295 square meters.
A free patent on residential land covers untitled residential lands in public alienable and disposable lands that are zoned by local government units as residential areas, including townsites, public schools, municipal halls, public plazas or parks, delisted and abandoned military camps or reservations.
Any Filipino citizen who is an actual occupant of a residential land for at least ten years may apply for a free patent title.
"This law directs our Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENRO) to process the application within 120 days to include compliance with the required notices and other legal requirements," Montejo said.
He added that within 125 days the free patent will be issued or returned as the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENRO) has five days to approve or disapprove the patent.
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