By Franco G. Regala
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in San Fernando, Pampanga announced the distribution of 4,146 land titles on Monday, March 20 — covering 317 hectares of public lands to landless farmers in Central Luzon in support of Environment Secretary Regina Paz Lopez’s social justice and equitable access to land resources, environment authorities said.
Regional Director Francisco Milla, Jr., of DENR Central Luzon, reported that a total of 3,700 residential land titles, called patents, covering 83 hectares and another 446 agricultural land titles, covering 234 hectares, were distributed last year to 20,730 marginalized farmers and their families.
“The land distribution efforts are aligned with President Duterte’s anti-poverty program in the countryside and are in support of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),” he said.
He explained that providing poor farmer ownership of the land they till in the form of land titles is government’s modest contribution in promoting social justice and alleviating poverty in the rural sector.
“This is the best economic incentive government can give to landless farmers so they are motivated to fully develop their farms,” he explained, saying the land titles may be used as collateral when applying for loans.
Since 2011, DENR has already distributed a total of 27,242 patents covering about 15,715 hectares of public lands throughout Central Luzon, benefiting well over 78,000 landless farmers and their families, reports showed.