The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), through its “Handog Titulo” program, has awarded land titles to 415 qualified beneficiaries in Northern Mindanao on May 6.
During a ceremonial turnover at the DENR Region 10 Multi-Purpose Court in Cagayan de Oro City, Original Certificates of Title (OCTs) were distributed to 200 beneficiaries in Bukidnon, 10 in Camiguin, 20 in Lanao del Norte, 35 in Misamis Occidental, and 150 in Misamis Oriental.
Acting DENR Secretary Jim O. Sampulna expressed hope that the land titles will help improve the lives of the beneficiaries.
“More than just providing security of tenure to landowners, I encourage all patentees of agricultural lands to make their land productive. Make this a tool to improve the quality of your lives and that of your children,” said Sampulna.
The Environment chief said beneficiaries should safeguard their patents against any form of damage and destruction such as fire, rain, or loss. 
The distribution of land titles on May 6 was part of the 4,000 free patents targeted to be distributed in Northern Mindanao before the end of 2022.
Apart from agricultural free patents, the distribution also includes residential and special free patents.
DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Ernesto D. Adobo urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the land titles to help spur economic activity.
“This title—this piece of paper—is a good vehicle for the patentees to spark economic activity. There are financial institutions where you can get a loan and make use of your piece of land to the maximum and to be able for your piece of land to produce the desired revenue,” said Adobo.
DENR-Northern Mindanao Regional Executive Director Henry A. Adornado said the land titling program was undertaken in accordance with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s directive to expedite the processing and issuance of public land patents to qualified beneficiaries.
To support the government’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, the Handog Titulo program of the DENR also aims to spur socio-economic development, especially in the countryside.
The program is governed by Republic Act (RA) 10023 or the Residential Free Patent Act, RA 11231 or the Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act, and RA 11573 or the Amendment to the Public Land Act and the Property Registration Decree.
For individuals who want to avail of land titling of alienable and disposable lands, they may visit the nearest DENR Community Environment and Natural Resources Office where the specific land is located. ###