The Provincial Environment and Natural Resources (PENRO) in Guimaras is looking to distribute more free land patents in the province through the “Handog Titulo” program of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Provincial environment and natural resources officer Vicente Sardina said on Thursday that their land patents distribution continuously increase annually.

In 2015, PENRO was able to distribute 450 land patents; 464 in 2016 and 507 land patents which only in May 16 this year.

The 507 land patents were composed of agricultural lands with a total area of 385.20 hectares.

Sardina said that the distribution of the free land patents was among the contributions of the department to the residents of the province as they were currently celebrating Manggahan Festival. “We have been doing this yearly and we hope to sustain this because this is really a big help to the residents in Guimaras, especially to farmers,” he said.

The beneficiaries have satisfactorily complied with the requirements of the DENR for administrative titling, he said.

The beneficiaries of the free land patents now have a “complete ownership” of their lands and freed them away from encroachment and other issues on land ownership, Sardina said.

The Patent, Processing and Issuance (PPI) program of DENR is one of the priority programs of the government which has been instrumental in alleviating poverty among the rightful claimants.

It also promotes social equity and provided opportunity among the beneficiaries to benefit from their lands.

This year, the DENR-6 has a target of over 4,000 land patents to be distributed to beneficiaries in the region composed of 2,728 residential land titles and 1,750 agricultural land titles.

Last year, DENR-6 has exceeded its target on free patents issuance with a 103.89 percent and 115.22 percent accomplishment for its residential free patents and agricultural free patents, respectively. (CBF/PNA)