By JOSE ALSMITH L. SORIA
October 21, 2019
TACLOBAN CITY – Barely a month in office, Regional Director Stephen Leonidas of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) entered another agreement, this time with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the smooth approval by the latter of survey returns to fast track processing of land valuation by the Land Bank of the Philippines -Agrarian Operation Center (LBP-AOC) of lands covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP).
DAR Regional Director Stephen Leonidas and DENR Regional Executive Director Atty. Crizaldy Barcelo formally signed the agreement recently at Hotel Costa Brava, in support to the agreement DAR previously entered with LBP-AOC.
Barcelo, during the said occasion, expressed his office’s full support to the agreement between DAR and LBP-AOC specifically in the issuance of the needed survey returns.
Leonidas, on the other hand, thanked Barcelo and the entire DENR workforce for the cooperation and support of the said agency, which according to him is for the benefit of the agrarian reform beneficiaries.
In the agreement between the DAR and the LBP-AOC, the latter will accept only approved survey plan in requests for the conduct of joint field inspection leading to the issuance of Memorandum of Valuation (MOV) and/or Certificate of Deposit (COD).
To comply this requirement, DAR and DENR discussed on September 20 how to hasten the approval of survey returns, and on the 30th of the same month, the agreement was formally sealed by affixing the signatures of the heads of the two offices as well as witnesses which include Provincial Agrarian Reform Program Officers (PARPOs) Gilberto Apilado of Eastern Samar, Renato Badilla of Leyte, Nida Abelido of Northern Samar, Elisea Orapa of Southern Leyte, DENR’s Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services, Dr. Eugenia Bautista; Chief of the Surveys and Mapping Division, Engr. Ramon Unay; Head of the Survey Verification Unit, Engr. Allan Vicentillo; Chief of the Original and Other Survey Section, Engr. Evelyn Amago; and Chief of the Land Records Section, Engr. Nila Castañares.
Among the agreements in the said document states that requests for approval of survey returns with complete attached documents should be acted upon by the verifier within a period of 15 days from receipt and immediately be submitted to the office of the Chief of Surveys and Mapping Division for recommendation, and subsequently to the Office of the Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services for the approval.
For those with pending patent application, DAR should secure first withdrawal of the said application at the Community and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).
Meanwhile, to ensure correct classification of lands during the preliminary projection of landholdings, DAR shall apply the Geo Referencing approach using the digital copy of land classification map provided by DENR.
In case of discrepancies of areas reflected in the land titles and the approved survey plans, DAR shall secure first imprimatur from the Register of Deeds (ROD) annotating the correct area based on record stipulated in RP (Republic of the Philippines) titles.
Further, for survey returns with “double survey”, DAR shall file first request for cancellation of the approved survey plan before submitting the new survey returns.
Furthermore, ROD certification stating that no title has been issued yet, is no longer mandatory for those with “double survey”. Instead, a certified copy of the latest title and CENRO certification as to the status of the landholding subject of second survey will be required.
It was also agreed that CENRO certification shall be released within a period of 15 calendar days from the receipt of the request.
Considering these agreements DAR entered recently with the two line agencies, Leonidas is anticipating CARP’s land acquisition and distribution activities in Eastern Visayas will accelerate and eventually meet the 2022 deadline set by the President, when the latter’s term of office ends.