SUB

Department of Environment and Natural Resources

SECTOR
LAND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

ENR FRAMEWORK:

PLANS

Volume VI

Land Resources Management Plan Volume VI
ENR Management Framework Plan

Table of Contents
List of Acronyms ........................................................................................................ v EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ........................................................................................... vii FRAMEWORK PLAN FOR LAND RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT ..................................1 I. SECTOR REVIEW AND ANALYSIS .........................................................................1 A. Scope and Coverage ....................................................................................1 1. Concept of Land .......................................................................................1 2. Demand for Land......................................................................................2 3. Perspective and Mandate ..........................................................................3 4. Status of Land Resources...........................................................................3 Land Classification..................................................................................3 Land Titling ............................................................................................4 CARP Scope and Accomplishments.........................................................4 B. Significance of Land Sector ...........................................................................6 1. Contribution to Economy .........................................................................6 2. Contribution in Poverty Alleviation ...........................................................7 3. Contribution to Natural Resources Management ........................................7 C. Land Resources Governance .........................................................................8 1. Organization and Management .................................................................8 Agencies Involved and Responsibilities..................................................8 Policy/ Legal Framework ......................................................................10 Manpower and Budgetary Resources ...................................................11 2. Major Programs, Projects and Activities....................................................11 Regular Activities .................................................................................12 Land Disposition and Management .........................................................13 Land Records Management.....................................................................14 Special Programs and Projects .............................................................15 D. Major Gaps or Issues ..................................................................................16 1. Policy and Institutional............................................................................16 Multiple Agencies Involved in Land Administration .............................16 Outdated and Inconsistent Laws ..........................................................16 Dual Process for Land Titling ................................................................17 Multiple Forms of Land Ownership.......................................................17 Multiple Property Taxes and Tax Disincentives ....................................18 Multiple Land Valuation Methods ........................................................18 2. Operational/ Management ......................................................................19 Incomplete Cadastral Survey................................................................19 Need to Accelerate, and Promote Gender Equality in, Land Distribution .............................................................................................................19 Inefficient Land Records Management .................................................20 Proliferation of Fake/ Spurious Titles ...................................................20 3. Cross- Sectoral ...........................................................................................20 Incomplete Land Classification.............................................................20 Improper or Unauthorized Developments Along Foreshore Areas.......21
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Unreliable Land Resource Information .................................................21 II. MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK ..........................................................................22 A. Guiding Principles......................................................................................22 B. Operational Framework ..............................................................................23 1. The Land Management Services System...................................................24 2. Relevance to Sustainable Rural Development ...........................................24 C. Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives...........................................................25 1. Vision and Mission ..................................................................................25 2. Goals and Objectives...............................................................................25 D. Strategies and Priority Actions ....................................................................26 1. Core Strategies .......................................................................................26 Proper Resource Use and Allocation and Equitable Access to Resources .............................................................................................................26 Implementation of Poverty Reduction Programs .................................27 Efficient and Effective Environmental Law Enforcement ......................27 2. Support Strategies ..................................................................................28 Good and Shared Governance ..............................................................28 Adoption of Market-Based Instruments and Other Economic Measures .............................................................................................................29 IEC and Information Systems Development .........................................30 III. ACTION AGENDA..........................................................................................31 A. Implementing Actions................................................................................31 B. Legislative Agenda .....................................................................................34 C. Research and Development Agenda............................................................35 D. Integration of UN Millennium Development Goals and Johannesburg Agreements ..................................................................................................36 E. Institutional Directions ...............................................................................36 REFERENCES........................................................................................................38 ANNEX "A": A BLUEPRINT FOR LAND ADMINISTRATION REFORM .............................41

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List of Tables
Table 1. Computation of Land to Man/ Household Ratio Philippines, 2000-2010 .........2 Table 2. Land Classification Status (as of December 2000)..........................................3 Table 3. Land Titling Status (as of December 2001)....................................................4 Table 4. Scope of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (December 2001) .....5 Table 5. CARP Land Distribution Status, July 1987-December 2001.............................6 Table 6. Status of Cadastral Surveys (As of Dec. 30, 2001) .........................................12 Table 7. Action Plan for Land Management ............................................................31

List of Figures
Figure 1. Land Distribution Scope, Accomplishment and Balance, 1972-2001 (in million hectares), Source: Department of Agrarian Reform....................................................5 Figure 2. Operational Framework for Land Management .........................................23

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List of Acronyms
A&D BBM BLLM CAC CARP CALT CADT CBFM CENRO COSLAP CLOA DAO DAR DENR DILG DOJ ECC EP ERDB FAO GDP ICC IEC IFMA IPRA IP LAA LAMP LEP LGU LMB LMS LRA LRMIS LUPC MBM MDG NAMRIA NCIP alienable and disposable Barrio Boundary Monument Bureau of Lands Location Monuments command and control Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program certificate of ancestral land title certificate of ancestral domain title community-based forest management Community Environment and Natural Resources Office Commission for the Settlement of Land Problems Certificate of Land Ownership Award DENR administrative order Department of Agrarian Reform Department of Environment and Natural Resources Department of Interior and Local Government Department of Justice environmental compliance certificate emancipation patent Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau Food and Agriculture Organization gross domestic product indigenous cultural communities information education and communication Industrial Forest Management Agreement Indigenous Peoples Rights Act indigenous peoples Land Administration Authority Land Administration and Management Program land evaluation parties local government units Land Management Bureau Land Management Services Land Registration Authority Land Records Management Information System Land Use Policy Council Municipal Boundary Monuments Millenium Development Goals National Mapping and Resources Information Authority National Commission on Indigenous Peoples

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OSG PBM PD PLA PENRO PRS RA ROD TLA VOS

Office of the Solicitor General provincial boundary monument presidential decree public land application Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office Philippine Reference System Republic Act register of deeds Timber License Agreement voluntary offer to sell

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
More Filipinos with access to land shall be the overriding goal of the land sector. Access to land is an essential ingredient in equalizing opportunities, income and wealth. It is a key to achieving social justice. That the land management sector contributes significantly to economic growth anchored on social equity is undisputed. Land management promotes equitable access to land through grants or concessions in favor of as many qualified individuals as possible. Equitable access to land encourages agricultural productivity, which in turn results in higher rural incomes. Increased rural incomes accelerate rural development, which, eventually, leads to overall economic growth and well being for a greater number of people. This framework plan focuses on land management and administration in keeping with the DENR’s mandate to administer and manage alienable and disposable (A&D) public lands, government-owned lands, and other lands outside the responsibility of other government agencies. As such, it covers land classification, survey, disposition, titling, and other land management concerns. Following worldwide trends, the competition for land in the Philippines has become more acute. As population increases, land to man or land to household ratio decreases. Land, thus, is becoming a precious commodity, and access to it more difficult. The importance of land to the economy, to poverty alleviation, and to natural resources management need not be overemphasized. Property rights are of particular importance to the poor for a number of reasons. First, it enables the poor to equally share in economic opportunities. Second, it facilitates credit-financed investment. Third, it has a large impact on nutritional welfare. Major issues or problems, however, constrain the sector. These issues or problems can be grouped under three categories: policy/institutional, operational/management, and crosssectoral. Policy/ institutional issues include: 1) multiple agencies involved in land administration, 2) outdated and inconsistent laws, 3) dual process for land titling, 4) multiple forms of land ownership, 5) multiple property taxes and tax disincentives, and 6) multiple land valuation methods. The operational/management issues are: 1) incomplete cadastral survey; 2) need to accelerate, and promote gender equality in, land distribution; 3) inefficient land records management; and 4) proliferation of fake/ spurious titles. Finally, the cross-sectoral issues are: 1) incomplete land classification, 2) improper or unauthorized developments along foreshore areas, and 3) unreliable land resource information. To address these issues, strategies and priority actions were identified consistent with the fundamental strategies in the ENR sector, to wit: 1) proper resource use and allocation and equitable access to resources, 2) implementation of poverty reduction programs, 3) efficient and effective environmental law enforcement, 4) good and shared governance, 5) adoption of market-based instruments and other economic measures, and 6) IEC and information systems development. These strategies are guided by the following principles: 1) equity, that land resources should benefit a greater number of people; 2) sustainability, that the use and

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enjoyment of land resources should benefit present and future generations; 3) subsidiarity, that stakeholders should be given effective participation in planning and decision-making on land use and management; and 4) accountability, that officials and employees in the land sector must serve with the highest degree of public trust and accountability. The core strategies for the land sector include the following: 1) complete the classification of unclassified areas; 2) complete cadastral survey of all cities/ municipalities; 3) accelerate, and promote gender equality in, the distribution of public alienable and disposable lands; 4) reform and consolidate land administration laws to include, among others, abolition of judicial titling and related matters in favor of simple administrative processes, issuance of one certificate of title instead of multiple forms of land ownership, and maintenance of one register of title recording all rights to land; 5) intensify campaign against fake/spurious titles; and 6) incorporate environmental safeguards in the issuance of foreshore leases. On the other hand, the support strategies are as follows: 1) establish a Land Administration Authority (LAA); 2) implement Land Records Management Information System (LRMIS); 3) rationalize land taxation and remove disincentives to land transfers; 4) develop and implement a uniform land valuation system; and 5) improve quality of, and facilitate access to, land resource information. The establishment of LAA is the centerpiece of the proposed reform agenda; hence, it requires top priority. The policy/ institutional changes envisioned in the land sector require the revision or amendment of existing land laws or the enactment of entirely new statutes. Thus, to implement these reforms, there is a need for the following legislations: 1) Omnibus Land Code, and 2) National Land Use Act. The Omnibus Land Code will consolidate or codify all land administration laws (i.e. classification, survey, disposition, registration, and titling) and provide for the merger of LMB/ LMS, LRA and NAMRIA into a Land Administration Authority (LAA). For this purpose, it is recommended that Senate Bill No. 2293 and House Bill No. 4035 (Revised Public Land Act) be recast into an Omnibus Land Code. The passage of the National Land Use Act (Senate Bill No. 1944/ House Bill No __) should likewise be given priority as it provides substantive policy guidelines or standards for sustainable land use management that has been lacking in existing land laws. The immediate challenge for DENR in light of the proposed structural changes is how it can continue to be a major player in the land sector. However, once it retains such role, the ultimate challenge it will face is how it can successfully achieve the long-overdue reformation of the sector, and thus harness its full potentials in the war against widespread poverty.

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FRAMEWORK PLAN FOR LAND RESOURCES AND MANAGEMENT
I. SECTOR REVIEW AND ANALYSIS A. Scope and Coverage
1. Concept of Land
In its most comprehensive sense, land refers to “a delineable area of the earth’s terrestrial surface, encompassing all attributes of the biosphere immediately above or below this surface, including those of the near-surface climate, the soil and terrain forms, the surface hydrology (including shallow lakes, rivers, marshes and swamps), the near-surface sedimentary layers and associated groundwater and geohydrological reserve, the plant and animal populations, the human settlement pattern and physical results of past and present human activity (terracing, water storage or drainage structures, roads, buildings, etc.)” (FAO/UNEP, 1997. Negotiating a Sustainable Future for Land. Structural and Institutional Guidelines for Land Resources Management in the 21st Century, cited in The Future of Our Land. Facing the Challenge, Guidelines for Integrated Planning for Sustainable Management of Land Resources, FAO/UNEP, 1999). As a legal concept, land is considered an immovable property. (Civil Code, art. 415 [1]). Immovable or real properties may be the object of appropriation. (Civil Code, art. 414). Being an object of appropriation means that property may be the subject of commerce. And as subject of commerce, title is vital or essential for the purpose of effecting delivery in land transactions. The economic importance of land is underscored in the following observations: “Land is a factor of production, essential to the provision of urban housing services and the production of agricultural goods. At the same time, land is demanded as a financial asset. It is often a good hedge against inflation, especially in countries where financial markets are not well developed. Even in economies with well-developed financial markets and where inflation is not a serious problem, the acquisition of land is frequently part of the portfolio diversification strategies of economic agents. (Binswanger and Roserizweig 1986). Financial institutions frequently prefer land as collateral for credit operations because, among other reasons, land is immobile, its depreciation is small, and its value is not eroded by inflation. Finally, land is a heterogeneous good, a “property,” whose market prices usually reflect not only its value but also its location and attached investments.“ (Brandāo and Feder, Chapter 10-Regulatory Policies and Reform: The Case of Land Markets, Regulatory Polices and Reform: A Comparative Perspective, Claudio Frischtak [ed], World Bank, December 1995, pp 191-209). Thus, the legal and economic dimensions of land are not mutually exclusive but are inextricably intertwined.

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2. Demand for Land
It has been reported that land resources worldwide are currently under stress. Traditional systems of land management are either breaking down or are no longer appropriate. The primary reason is the increasing demands placed on lands by the unprecedented rate of population growth. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has concluded that by the year 2000, 64 countries (55%) of 117 countries in the developing world would not be able to support their populations from land resources alone using production systems based on low inputs. Land, thus, is becoming more and more scarce. Competition for land among different uses is becoming acute and conflicts related to this competition more frequent and more complex. (FAO/ UNEP, 1999). In the Philippines, the situation is not any better. As of 2000, the country has a total population of 76,498,735 with 15,271,545 households. Average population growth is 2.4% per annum. (Census 2000 [Final], May I, 2000, National Census and Statistics Office). Total land area is 30,000,000 hectares, out of which 14.15 million hectares are alienable and disposable (A&D) lands. (NAMRIA, Land Classification Status, Dec. 2000 [Table 2]). Using these data, the projected land to man/ household ratio over 10 years is shown in Table 1. Table 1. Computation of Land to Man/ Household Ratio Philippines, 2000-2010 Item 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 14.15 96.96 19.20 0.14 0.74 10.60 0.11 0.55

Total A&D (in million ha) 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 14.15 Population (in million) 76.49 78.82 80.20 82.12 84.09 86.11 88.18 90.30 92.47 94.69 Households (HH) (in million) 15.27 15.64 16.02 16.40 16.79 17.19 17.60 18.02 18.45 18.82 A & D Land –Man Ratio (ha/person) 0.18 0.18 0.18 0.17 0.17 0.16 0.16 0.16 0.15 0.15 A & D Land- HH Ratio (ha/HH) 0.93 0.90 0.88 0.86 0.84 0.82 0.80 0.78 0.77 0.75 Total Registrable Land (million ha) 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 10.60 Reg. Land-Man Ratio (ha/person) 0.14 0.14 0.13 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.12 0.12 0.11 0.11 Reg. Land-HH Ratio (ha/ HH) 0.69 0.67 0.66 0.65 0.63 0.62 0.60 0.59 0.57 0.56 Notes: Population/ Household (2000) – Based on Final Census (NSO) Population / Household (2001-2010) – Computed at 2.4% growth rate per annum Registrable Land refers to titled (9.3 M ha) and untitled (1.3 M ha) lands (Table 3)

Table 1 discloses that the ratio of A&D land to man is 0.18 to 0.14 ha per person from 2000– 2010. Compared with the total area of registrable lands (10.6 million hectares [Table 3]), the land to man ratio decreases from 0.14 to 0.11 ha per person over 10 years. The ratio of A&D lands to households ranges from 0.93 to 0.74 ha per household, or 0.69 to 0.55 ha per household for registrable lands for the same period. These ratios are far lower than the prescribed economic size farm of one to three hectares under the agrarian reform program. Moreover, since a few still own big tracts of land in the country, not every Filipino, in reality, can have access to land, The most visible manifestation here of the fierce competition for land

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is the increasing incidence of squatting and the widespread poverty which remains one of the highest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at 34.2 % in 2000 (Medium Term Philippine Development Plan [MTPDP], 2001–2004, p. 220).

3. Perspective and Mandate
This framework plan views land resources and management not merely in the context of land disposition, but in the totality of factors that impede or enhance sound public land administration. In taking stock of the land sector, thus, a broader perspective was adopted. However, in formulating the strategies, priority thrusts, and implementing actions, efforts were made to hew as closely as possible to the existing mandate of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Where the proposed strategic interventions in the land sector will require policy decisions beyond DENR, appropriate legislative measures are recommended. Under the Constitution, “(l)ands of the public domain are classified into agricultural, forest or timber, mineral lands, and national parks. Agricultural lands of the public domain may be further classified by law according to the uses to which they may be devoted. Alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands. xxx.”(CONST.,art. XII, sec. 3). DENR is mandated to administer and manage alienable and disposable (A&D) public lands, government-owned lands, and other lands outside the responsibility of other government agencies such as reclaimed areas and areas not needed or utilized for the purposes they were established (EO 192 [1987], sec. 14). Briefly stated, the land sector is responsible for the administration and management of public agricultural lands, government-owned lands, and all lands outside the jurisdiction of other government agencies, such as foreshore areas, civil reservations and patrimonial properties. The latter are those held by the government in its private capacity and are not for public use, viz. friar lands and insular government properties.

4. Status of Land Resources
Land Classification Of the total area of 30 million hectares, A&D lands consist of 14.1 million hectares (47%), while forestlands 14.8 million hectares (49%). However, there are still 1.1 million hectares (4%) unclassified areas. The status of land classification is shown in Table 2. Table 2. Land Classification Status (as of December 2000) Region CAR 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total Area (ha) 1,829,368 1,284,019 2,683,758 1,823,082 4,756,016 1,763,249 2,022,311 1,495,142 A&D Area (ha) 350,099 810,922 965,965 1,051,908 2,221,098 1,222,060 1,408,782 959,223 % 19.1 63.2 36.0 57.7 46.7 69.3 69.7 64.2 Classified/ Declared 1,471,164 442,826 1,711,543 744,300 1,995,912 511,316 611,923 466,364 Forest Land (ha) Unclassifie % d 80.4 8,105 34.5 30,271 63.8 6,250 40.8 26,874 42.0 539,006 29.0 29,873 30.3 1,606 31.2 69,555

%

Total

0.4 1,479,269 2.4 473,097 0.2 1,717,793 1.5 771,174 11.3 2,534,918 1.7 541,189 0.1 613,529 4.7 535,919

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8 9 10 11 12 ARMM Total

2,143,169 1,599,734 2,832,774 3,169,275 1,437,274 1,160,829

1,023,715 762,280 1,066,931 1,212,440 546,828 542,827

47.8 47.7 37.7 38.3 38.0 46.8 47.2

1,080,529 810,611 1,715,111 1,840,061 840,815 523,329 14,765,804

50.4 50.7 60.5 58.1 58.5 45.1 49.2

38,925 26,843 50,732 116,774 49,631 94,673 1,089,118

30,000,000 14,145,078

1.8 1,119,454 1.7 837,454 1.8 1,765,843 3.7 1,956,835 3.5 890,446 8.2 618,002 15,854,92 3.6 2

Source: National Mapping and Resources Information Authority (NAMRIA) The Philippines Forestry Statistics show that from 1990–1999, the area of unclassified lands remained constant at 881,157 hectares, which is 207,961 hectares less than the NAMRIA figures. Consultations with NAMRIA officials disclose that the discrepancy could be attributed to the inclusion in the total unclassified areas of the following: i) areas covered by preliminary map delineation previously certified by the Director of Forestry as not needed for forest purposes but not yet subjected to the present system of land classification (LC); ii) small islands; iii) LC gaps or areas inadvertently left unclassified by LC teams; and iv) areas covered by unsigned proclamations returned by the Office of the President. Since NAMRIA is the official custodian of LC maps and data, its figures on the extent of unclassified areas is adopted herein. Land Titling Of the 14.1 million hectares of A&D lands, 9.3 million hectares (66%) have already been titled either administratively or judicially as of December 2001. The remaining untitled area consists of 1.3 million hectares (9%). This portion shall be the focus of land disposition efforts under the sector. Total registrable lands, thus, consist of 10.6 million hectares (i.e., 9.3 million hectares titled plus 1.3 million hectares untitled). The breakdown of the land titling status appears in Table 3. Table 3. Land Titling Status (as of December 2001) Land Types Titled Administratively Titled Judicially Titled Remaining Untitled Non-Agricultural Lands (Roads/Open Spaces) Areas Turned Over to Other Agencies by Proclamations (Military Reservations/KKK Areas/etc.) Total Source: Land Management Bureau CARP Scope and Accomplishments The Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) is the main instrument of achieving equitable distribution and ownership of land in the country. Under Republic Act No. 6657, CARP covers “all public and private agricultural lands”, specifically, “all A&D lands of the public Area (million ha) 9.3 6.2 3.1 1.3 1.8 44 22 9 13 Share (%) 66

1.7 14.1

12 100

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domain devoted to or suitable for agriculture”. (Sec 4[a], RA 6657). Private agricultural lands include “all private lands whether titled or untitled” (DOJ Opinion No. 176 [1992]). Together with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), the DENR plays a crucial role in CARP. The total CARP scope or target for land distribution is 8.1 million hectares. The DAR scope is 4.3 million hectares (53%), while for the DENR, 3.8 million hectares (47%). However, the DENR scope includes ISF (integrated social forestry) areas of 1.3 million hectares, which are actually found within forestlands or non-A&D lands. Thus, in terms of A&D lands, the DENR scope under CARP consists of 2.5 million hectares (31%). The breakdown of the CARP scope is shown in Table 4. Table 4. Scope of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (December 2001) SCOPE LAND TYPE (ha) % I. DAR 4,290,453 53.22 II. DENR 3,771,411 46.78 A & D LANDS 2,502,000 31.04 ISF 1,269,411 15.75 TOTAL 8,061,860 100.00 Source: Department of Agrarian Reform As of December 2001, 5.69 million hectares (71%) have been distributed leaving a balance of 2.37 million hectares (29%) of the CARP scope. Of the 5.69 million hectares, DAR distributed 3.21 million hectares (56%) while DENR accomplished 2.48 million hectares (44%). Of the balance of 2.37 million hectares, DAR’s share is 1.08 million hectares (46%) while DENR’s share is, 1.29 million hectares or 54% of its scope. Thus, while DENR has a smaller share of the CARP scope compared to DAR, its remaining backlog is bigger than that of the DAR. Compared with their respective scopes, DAR accomplished 76% while DENR accomplisehd 66%. The total accomplishments and balances are shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. Land Distribution Scope, Accomplishment and Balance, 1972-2001 (in million hectares), Source: Department of Agrarian Reform
8 6 4 2 0 Scope Distributed Balance

Total 8.06 DAR 4.29 DENR 3.77

5.69 (71%) 3.21 (75%) 2.48 (66%)

2.37 (29%) 1.08 (25%) 1.29 (34%)

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The breakdown of the CARP land distribution status by agency and land type is shown in Table 5. (Note: The figures on land distribution targets and accomplishments presented by the PARC Secretariat as shown in Figure 1 & Table 5 do not tally for unexplained reasons). Out of the DENR accomplishment of 2.189 million hectares (2.48 million hectares in Figure 1), only more than half (1.146 million hectares) are public A&D lands, while the balance (1.042 million hectares) pertain to ISF/ CBFM (community-based forest management) areas, which are nonA&D lands. Table 5. CARP Land Distribution Status, July 1987-December 2001 Agency/ Land Type DAR Rice and Corn Lands Settlements and Landed Estates Govt-owned Lands/GFI Other Private Agri Lands Sub-Total DENR Public A&D Lands ISF Areas/CBMFA * Sub-Total Total Target (ha) 1,027,879 564,461 651,513 2,096,451 4,340,304 2,147,333 1,284,088 3,431,421 7,771,725 Accomplishme nt (ha) 526,368 706,178 896,232 1,065,159 3,193,937 1,146,037 1,042,632 2,188,669 5,382,606 %

51 125 138 51 74 53 81 64 69

*Issuance of CBFM agreements in ISF areas for CARP already completed in 2000 Source: Department of Agrarian Reform The foregoing data show that the land distribution balance of DENR under CARP as of December 2001 is still substantial, i.e., 1.29 million hectares or one-third (1/3) of its scope. This figure closely tallies with the 1.3 million hectares remaining untitled lands reported by the Land Management Bureau (LMB) (Table3).

B. Significance of Land Sector
1. Contribution to Economy
The land sector contributes substantially to the economy. Most economic ventures or activities whether agricultural, commercial, industrial or residential invariably needs or makes use of land. As earlier noted, land is a factor of production, essential to the provision of urban housing services and the production of agricultural goods. In 1996, the land market is estimated to have contributed more than P140 billion to the Philippine economy in terms of gross value added in real estate equivalent to 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP). (Informal Policy Note, Philippines, Land Management and Administration, May 18, 1998, World Bank, pp. 13-14).

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2. Contribution in Poverty Alleviation
From 1987–2001, about 1,146,037 hectares of A&D lands have been distributed by the DENR (Table 5). At an average of 1.2 hectares per beneficiary (as reported by LMB), this means that approximately 955, 031 individuals have already been benefited by DENR’s land distribution program. The importance of land as an asset for the poor is emphasized in the following observations: “Property rights are not only of relevance for economic growth in general but they are of particular importance to the poor, for a number of reasons. First, lack of property rights does in many cases exclude the poor from equally sharing in economic opportunities (de Soto 1989). A more egalitarian distribution of land ownership would not only increase their welfare but also aggregate production (Mookherjee 1997; Bardhan et al. 1998) to the degree that it enhances the bargaining power of potential tenants as compared to the landlord and tenant in an environment where effort is not enforceable. A second way in which land ownership would affect poverty is through creditfinanced investment. The underlying idea is that lack of collateral precludes individuals from making indivisible investments (in schooling, bullocks, wells, or perennials) that would have to be financed out of credit. In this case, even though the investments would be profitable both socially and individually and credit-unconstrained individuals would easily be able to undertake them (Galor and Zeira 1993, Eckstein and Zilcha 1994), poor people who do not have access to assets might be caught in "poverty traps". They would then fail to get out of poverty not because they are unproductive or lack skills, but because, due to credit market imperfections, they never get the opportunity to utilize their innate ability. Indeed, emerging empirical evidence suggests that such poverty traps may indeed exist (Jalan and Ravallion, 1996, Fafchamps and Pender 1996). A third mechanism is that, in settings where credit and product markets are incomplete, access to land has a large impact on nutritional welfare - larger than the redistribution of output or income generated from the same land because land ownership does fulfill an important function as insurance substitute and an efficient source of self-employment. xxx. Even though households within any given village are only moderately insured against idiosyncratic income shocks, there is almost complete insurance against malnutrition (Burgess 1997). This insurance benefit seems to be at the root of customs such as the biblical law to periodically redistribute land, to leave spaces for communal grazing, or to provide the poor with the possibility of collecting leftovers. Many of these survive up to this day in communal tenure systems.” (Deininger and Binswanger, The Evolution of the World Bank's Land Policy, July 1998).

3. Contribution to Natural Resources Management

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Natural resources management refers to the sustainable utilization of major natural resources such as land, water, air, minerals, forests, fisheries, and wild flora and fauna. These resources provide the ecosystem services that underpin human life. Efficient and effective land management ensures clear delineation of boundaries between A&D lands and non-A&D lands such as forestlands and protected areas. It promotes greater access to land, secure property rights, and increased productivity. Proper land management, therefore, relieves the forests, coastal areas, and other critical natural resources of pressure as sources of livelihood for the rural poor.

C. Land Resources Governance
1. Organization and Management
Agencies Involved and Responsibilities In the Philippines, no single agency is solely responsible for administering the country’s land resources. The responsibilities are apportioned to various agencies, as follows: i) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). DENR is primarily responsible for the conservation, management, development and proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources, specifically forest and grazing lands, mineral resources, and lands of the public domain. (EO 192 [1987], sec. 4). It performs land administration functions through the Land Management Bureau (LMB), the DENR field offices, i.e., Regional Office, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), and the National Mapping and Resources Information Authority (NAMRIA). The DENR administratively confirms titles to land through issuance of free patents. LMB exercises staff functions while the DENR field offices perform line functions. As a staff bureau, LMB is tasked primarily to a) recommend policies and programs; b) advise the Secretary and the Regional Offices; c) monitor and evaluate land surveys, management and disposition; and d) issue standards, guidelines and procedures on land use and development. (EO 192[1987], sec.14). LMB also retains some residual line functions such as real property management and disposition of certain proclaimed areas for residential purposes. The DENR field offices, on the other hand, through their respective Land Management Services (LMS), are responsible for actual conduct of a) land surveys, b) land disposition and appraisal, c) investigation and adjudication of land cases, and d) land records management. These functions and responsibilities cut across the regional, provincial and community offices differing only on the levels of authority. (DENR Administrative Order [DAO] 38 [1990]). NAMRIA is a central mapping agency attached to DENR. It serves the needs of line services of the DENR and other government agencies with regard to information and research. It is the central depository and distribution facility for natural resources data in the form of maps, statistics, text, charts, etc. (EO 192 [1987], sec.22 [a]). It provides technical supervision to the land evaluation parties (LEPs) in the conduct of land classification or sub-classification of lands of the public domain. (DAO 15[1995], sec. 6[F]). ii) Regional Trial Courts/ Municipal Trial Courts (RTCs/MTCs). RTCs/MTCs are the local counterparts of the judicial branch of the government with the Supreme Court at the apex. They are responsible for judicially confirming rights to land. The RTCs have exclusive

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jurisdiction over all applications for original registration of title to lands. (PD 1529 [1978], Chap. I, sec.2). However, the MTCs may be assigned by the Supreme Court to hear and determine cadastral or land registration cases covering lots where there is no controversy or opposition, or contested lots where the value of which does not exceed P100,000.00. (BP 129 [1980], as amended by RA 7691 [1994], sec. 4). iii) Department of Justice/ Office of the Solicitor General (DOJ/ OSG). DOJ is the principal law agency of the government. It is empowered to a) preserve the integrity of land titles through proper registration, and b) investigate and arbitrate untitled land disputes involving small landowners and members of indigenous cultural communities. (EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title III, Chap. I, sec. 3). The DOJ performs its land-related functions through the Land Registration Authority (LRA) and the Commission for the Settlement of Land Problems (COSLAP). The LRA is mandated to a) assist in implementing the land reform program; b) assist the courts in ordinary and cadastral land registration proceedings; and c) act as the central repository of records relative to original registration of lands titled under the Torrens System, including subdivision and consolidation plans of titled lands. Through its administrator, LRA performs the following functions: a) issues decrees of registration pursuant to final judgments of courts in land registration proceedings and causes the issuance by the Registers of Deeds of the corresponding certificates of title; b) resolves cases elevated en consulta by, or on appeal from decisions of, Registers of Deeds; c) implements all orders, decisions, and decrees promulgated relative to the registration of lands and issues rules and regulations therefor; and d) verifies and approves subdivision, consolidation, and consolidation-subdivision survey plans of titled properties ( PD 1529 [1978], Chap. II, sec.6 in relation to EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title III, Chap. 9, sec. 28). LRA has a network of Registry of Deeds in the provinces and cities of the country, which constitute as the public repository of records of instruments affecting registered or unregistered lands. (PD 1529 [1978], Chap. I, sec.9). COSLAP is responsible for the settlement of land problems involving small landowners and members of cultural minorities. (EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title III, Chap.11, sec. 32). OSG is an independent and autonomous office attached to the DOJ. It represents the government in all land registration and related proceedings. The OSG institutes actions for reversion to the government of lands of the public domain and improvements thereon as well as lands held in violation of the Constitution. (EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title III, Chap.11, sec. 34 [5]). iv) Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). DAR is principally mandated to implement the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). It is authorized to a) acquire private agricultural lands for distribution to qualified beneficiaries upon payment of just compensation; b) administer and distribute cultivable portions of A&D lands transferred to it by the DENR; c) undertake surveys of lands covered by agrarian reform; d) issue emancipation patents and certificates of land ownership awards; e) resolve agrarian conflicts and land tenure problems; f) undertake land use management; and g) assist OSG in land reversion proceedings. (RA 6657 [1988], sec. 4 & 5). DAR focuses on private agricultural lands and government-owned lands transferred by other agencies for distribution to beneficiaries. v) Local Government Units (LGUs). In the context of land administration, LGUs refer to provinces, cities and municipalities. Cities or municipalities are authorized, through an ordinance, and subject to certain limitations, to reclassify agricultural lands 1) when the land ceases to be economically feasible and sound for agricultural purposes, or 2) where the land shall have substantially greater economic value for residential, commercial, or industrial
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purposes. They are, likewise, authorized to prepare their respective comprehensive land use plans enacted through zoning ordinance which shall be the primary and dominant bases for the future use of land resources in their respective localities (RA 7160 [1991], sec. 20). These reclassification and zoning ordinances require the approval of the provincial sanggunian. Through their respective assessor’s offices, LGUs also identify, value and assess real properties for taxation. (RA 7160 [1991], sec. 205). vi) National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). NCIP is responsible for indigenous cultural communities/ indigenous peoples (ICCs/IPs) and the recognition of their ancestral domains. It has the power to issue certificates of ancestral land/ domain title (CALT/CADT) over these lands. (RA 8371 [1997], sec. 38 & 44 [e]). The NCIP may acquire jurisdiction over an area managed by other government agencies such as DENR, DAR, DOJ or DILG upon certification by its Chairperson that said area is an ancestral domain. Such notification shall terminate any legal basis for the jurisdiction previously claimed. (RA 8371, sec.52 [1]).

Policy/ Legal Framework The policies governing land administration in the Philippines are embodied in the following major legislations: i) Public Land Act (Commonwealth Act [CA] No. 141 [1936]). This act is the principal legislation that governs public land administration in the Philippines. It was enacted at the time when the country was still under colonial rule. The law provides for the classification, delimitation, and survey of lands of the public domain. It prescribes the forms of concession of agricultural lands, to wit: a) homestead, b) sale, c) lease, d) confirmation of imperfect titles, i.e., by judicial legalization or by administrative legalization (free patent). CA 141 further provides for the classification and concession of public lands suitable for residence, commerce and industry, such as: reclaimed lands, foreshore, marshy lands, and other types of lands, and those for educational, charitable and other similar purposes. The law also stipulates the requirements and procedures for the establishment of townsite reservations and reservations for public and semi-public purposes. The DENR implements CA 141. ii) Revised Forestry Code (Presidential Decree [PD] No. 705 [1975]). The Revised Forestry Code provided for systematizing and hastening land classification. For this purpose, it prescribed a simplified system of land classification based on topography: no land of the public domain 18% in slope or over shall be classified as alienable and disposable, nor any forest land 50% in slope or over, as grazing land. (PD 705 [1975], sec.15). It also decreed that lands still to be classified under the said system should continue to remain part of the public forest. (PD 705 [1975], sec.13). DENR is responsible for land classification in the country. iii) Property Registration Decree (PD 1529 [1978]). PD 1529 is a codification of laws on the registration of property. It covers the procedures for original registration of lands under ordinary and cadastral proceedings. These include a) preparation of decree directing registration and certificate of title, b) registration of voluntary (sale, mortgage, lease, etc.) and involuntary (attachments, adverse claim, lis pendens, etc.) dealings over land, c) registration of patents, certificates of land transfer, emancipation patents, and d) dealings with unregistered lands. The LRA implements PD 1529. iv) Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law (Republic Act (RA) No. 6657 [1988]). RA 6657 mandated the implementation of a Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program covering all public and private agricultural lands, including other lands of the public domain suitable for agriculture. These include a) all A&D lands of the public domain devoted to or suitable for
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agriculture; b) all lands of the public domain in excess of the specific limits of the public domain as determined by Congress; c) all lands owned by the Government devoted to or suitable for agriculture; and d) all private lands devoted to or suitable for agriculture. (RA 6657 [1988], sec 4). The law provided for the issuance of certificates of land ownership awards (CLOAs) to beneficiaries of the program. These CLOAs constitute as evidence of the award of land to them and are registrable with the RODs. They are considered as land titles subject, however, to certain restrictions on the conversion and conveyance of the land. v) Local Government Code (RA 7160 [1991]). The Local Government Code vested upon LGUs (cities or municipalities) the authority to reclassify agricultural lands for non-agricultural uses and to prepare comprehensive land use plans. It also gave them authority over the administration, appraisal, assessment, levy and collection of real property tax on lands within the LGUs’ respective jurisdictions (RA 7160 [1991], Title Two). vi) Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (RA 8371 [1997]). IPRA governs the identification and delineation of ancestral domains. Ancestral domains refer to areas generally belonging to ICCs/IPs held by them since time immemorial and include ancestral lands, forests, pasture, residential, agricultural and other lands individually owned whether A&D or otherwise. Ancestral lands refer to lands occupied by individuals, families and clans who are members of ICCs/IPs. (Sec. 3 [a] &[b]). The law authorizes the NCIP to issue titles over these lands in the form of CADT/CALT. These titles shall qualify for registration with the RODs in the place where the property is situated. (Sec.51[k]). Apart from these major laws, there are numerous other legislations and administrative issuances on land classification, land surveys, land disposition, land valuation or appraisal, land records management, and other land-related activities or concerns. Manpower and Budgetary Resources The manpower resources of the land management sector under DENR consist of administrative and technical personnel who are deployed at LMB and the various DENR field offices (regional offices/PENROs/CENROs) in 15 regions. As of 2002, the total budget for the land management sector (LMB/LMS) amounted to P728,624,000.00. The bulk of this budget (P646, 346,000 or 88.7 %) is earmarked for personal services or payment of salaries and wages, while only a small amount (P80, 143,000 or 11.0%) is allotted for maintenance and other operating expenditures. A negligible amount ( P2,135,000 or 0.3%) is appropriated for capital outlay. (RA 9162, General Appropriations Act, CY 2002).

2. Major Programs, Projects and Activities
The major programs, projects and activities in the land sector may be classified into a) regular activities, and b) special programs and projects. Regular activities pertain to the usual, recurring concerns of the land sector. They are wholly funded out of the yearly appropriations of the government. Special programs and projects are conceived and implemented to address certain priority concerns of the sector. Generally, they have fixed durations and receive external funding support.

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Regular Activities The regular activities are grouped into three major categories, to wit: a) land surveys and mapping, b) land disposition and management, and c) land records management. They are as follows: Land Surveys and Mapping i) Cadastral Survey Cadastral survey is conducted when public interest requires that title to lands be settled and adjudicated. Notice is given to persons claiming an interest in the land and to the general public of the day the survey is to be started. During the survey, monuments are installed to mark the boundaries of the lands. Thereafter, the Government through the solicitor general institutes cadastral proceedings for the issuance of titles over the lands covered by the survey. (PD 1529 [1978], sec. 35 & 36). DENR implements two schemes for cadastral surveys: 1) by administration, which utilizes inhouse geodetic engineers at the regional offices, and 2) by contract wherein the regional offices hire private geodetic engineers after public bidding. Cadastral surveys include the following activities: 1) project control survey which serves as reference for the political boundary survey; 2) political boundary survey where the metes and bounds of barangays, municipalities, provinces or regions are established and settled, and 3) lot survey where the boundaries of lots subject of claims are identified, sketched, recorded and defined using appropriate surveying instruments. As of 2001, LMB reports that out of a total 1,523 municipalities, 845 (56%) had been surveyed. The surveys for 325 (21%) municipalities are in the process of verification while 285 (19%) municipalities have been partially surveyed. A total of 68 (4%) municipalities have yet to be surveyed (see note at Table 6). Of the 90 cities, 72 (80%) have approved cadastral surveys, 12 (13%) are in progress, while 6 (7%) are partially surveyed. Table 6. Status of Cadastral Surveys (As of Dec. 30, 2001) Number LGU Total Approved In Progress Partial Survey 285 6 291 Unsurveyed

Municipalities 1523 845 325 68 Cities 90 72 12 0 Total 1613 917 337 68 Source: Land Management Bureau. Note : The LMB director has clarified during the Luzon consultations (Oct. 2, 2002) that there are actually 65 unsurveyed municipalities. Survey of three municipalities had been abandoned. ii) Field Network Survey Field network survey involves the densification of control points established by NAMRIA under the Philippine Reference System of 1992 (PRS 92). In 1992, Executive Order No. 45 was issued providing for the adoption of PRS 92 as the standard common reference for all surveying and mapping activities in the country. This is intended to accelerate the inventory, survey and

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classification of lands using appropriate technology, and minimize or prevent overlapping surveys. Densification entails the establishment of more control points into the fourth order of accuracy so as to achieve the 2–3 km density or a pair of stations per barangay as prescribed in DENR Administrative Order No. 98-48. It includes mapping and reconnaissance of the area, establishment of control stations, and preparation of survey returns or documents. It also covers the conduct of connection survey to PRS 92 of all existing control points such as: Bureau of Lands Location Monuments (BLLM), Provincial Boundary Monuments (PBM), Municipal Boundary Monuments (MBM), Barrio Boundary Monument (BBM), etc. This is necessary to integrate/ transform the geographic coordinates of existing control points with PRS 92. iii) Inspection, Verification and Approval of Surveys DENR is the sole agency responsible for classifying, sub-classifying, surveying and titling of lands. (EO 192 [1987], sec. 5 [m]). Thus, as part of its mandate, the DENR verifies and approves all types of surveys (i.e. isolated or cadastral) related to land registration except some subdivision surveys that pertain to the LRA. Inspection and verification of survey returns are conducted before any type of survey is approved. Surveys are validated on the ground based on the submitted survey returns. This is necessary to ensure that there are no overlapping surveys, the technical description and survey plan are precise, and the survey conforms to established standards. Ground verification of cadastral survey projects consists of ascertaining the specifications and actual planting of concrete markers at lot corners, control points, political boundaries, and verifying the corner connections of lots. Office verification of survey returns consists of reviewing computations, projection maps, plans, field notes and sketches. Surveys are approved after determining the technical accuracy and completeness of survey returns. Land Disposition and Management i) Issuance of Patents Under the law, the DENR secretary exercises direct executive control of the survey, classification, lease, sale or any other form of concession or disposition and management of lands of the public domain (CA 141 (1936), sec. 4 in relation to EO 192 [1987], sec.14 [f]). The forms of concession include homestead, sale, lease and free patent. Homestead is a grant of public land to persons seeking to establish and maintain agricultural homes on condition of actual, continuous, and personal occupancy of the area as a home including cultivation and improvement of the land. Free patent is a grant of land of the public domain suitable for and actually devoted to agricultural purposes acquired through confirmation of imperfect title of an actual occupant. DENR issues free patents in line with its obligation to distribute public agricultural lands under CARP. Generally, the acquisition of homestead or free patent commences with the filing of an application with the CENRO where the property is located. Investigation of the land is conducted. If the applicant is qualified and the land is found suitable, the technical description, order of approval, and proposed patent are prepared. The patent is then forwarded to the PENRO / RED for approval depending on the area of the land. In areas where
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most of the A&D lands are cadastrally surveyed but not yet titled, mass acceptance of public land applications and carpet investigation is applied. (DENR Administrative Order No. 37, Series of 1993). As of 2001, 6.2 million hectares of land has been administratively titled, while approximately 1.3 million hectares remain untitled (Table 3). ii) Adjudication of Land Cases Adjudication consists of investigating and resolving land claims and conflicts. A land claim arises when a protest is filed against an application while a land conflict involves two or more applications over the same parcel of land. DENR’s authority to adjudicate land claims and conflicts proceeds from its mandate to administer and dispose A&D public lands. Under existing procedures, the regional executive director has the power to investigate, decide and execute decisions in cases involving land claims and conflicts. The LMB director also exercises authority over such cases with respect to friar lands and certain areas proclaimed for residential purposes whose disposition remained with the LMB, as part of the agency’s residual line functions. iii) Inventory of Foreshores, Reservations, and Patrimonial Properties Foreshore refers to that part of the shore that is alternately covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tide. (DAO 29 [1991]). A reservation is any track or tracks of land of the public domain proclaimed by the President of the Philippines for the use of the government or any of its branches or instrumentalities or of the inhabitants thereof for public or quasi-public uses. (DENR Manual for Land Disposition, p.2). They include civil, military, townsite, mineral and forest reservations. Patrimonial properties include friar lands and insular government properties. Inventory of foreshores and patrimonial properties is carried out to rationalize their use. The work involves field survey, census of occupants, land use, improvements, survey and mapping. Existing reservations are reexamined to determine their proper disposition, i.e., whether to amend or revoke the same and release them to beneficiaries under CARP. The program also includes re-appraisal of public lands and patrimonial properties under permits, deeds, or leases to determine their present value, and compliance monitoring of lease contracts. As of May 15, 2002, LMB reports that the total area of patrimonial properties under DENR’s administration is 161, 337.17 hectares. These consist of commercial and industrial properties (276.30 ha), institutional properties (.14 ha), residential properties (2,646.10 ha) and friar lands (158, 414.64 ha). iv) Technical Assistance in Ancestral Land Claims and Land-use Planning DENR, through NAMRIA, extends technical assistance to the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in surveying and mapping of ancestral lands and ancestral domains. As a member of the inter-agency committee created under Executive Order No. 204 (2000), DENR is also tasked to provide technical assistance to LGUs in the preparation and approval of their comprehensive land use plans. Land Records Management

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One of the most vital activities of the land sector is the management of land records. These records consist of a) public land application (PLA) records such as patents, permits, leases, grants and licenses; b) survey records which include technical data on all types of approved surveys, such as, lot data computation books, maps and plans, lists of claimants and field notes; and c) legal records generated from claims and conflicts cases, land registration cases, cadastral cases such as protests, complaints or petitions. These records are maintained at LMB and at CENROs, PENROs and regional offices of DENR. The thrust of land records management is to lay the groundwork for the implementation of a computerized Land Records Management Information System (LRMIS). The initial phase involves the following activities: 1) inventory of all survey and public land application records to determine those which are missing or damaged and need reconstitution. The inventory is intended to elicit the following information: PLA data sheet, isolated survey plan, isolated data computation, lot data computation book, lot description book, numerical list of claimants, alphabetical list of claimants, index maps form and cadastral maps form; and 2) reconstitution of survey records which involves research of technical references, recomputation of technical data for the preparation of lot description, and preparation/ drafting of maps/ plans.

Special Programs and Projects i) OPLAN Fake Titles Because of rampant fake/ illegal titling, DENR has implemented an OPLAN Fake Titles Project. The project aims to stop the rising incidence of land fraud and land titling anomalies in the country. It involves investigating fake land titling cases, and, if evidence warrants, instituting proceedings for cancellation of patents/titles through the Office of the Solicitor General. Preventive action is undertaken through information, education and communication (IEC) campaign on how to detect fake titles and avoid being victims of land fraud. Disciplinary action against personnel involved in illegal titling has also been pursued. In 2001, for instance, 999 fake titling cases were investigated, 403 cases (40%) of which were forwarded to the OSG for cancellation. ii) Land Administration and Management Program (LAMP) To provide lasting solutions to land management problems in the Philippines, DENR has implemented a Land Administration and Management Program funded by the World Bank and AusAID. LAMP is a long-term (15–20 years) comprehensive program that seeks to address key land issues, to wit: 1) inconsistent and outdated land policy; 2) unrecognized rights in land of eligible landholders, 3) ineffective and inefficient land administration, and 4) ineffective land valuation system. The program shall be implemented by phases. The first phase has been ongoing since January 2001 with duration of 30–36 months. The expected outputs of LAMP include the following: a) A clear, coherent and consistent set of land administration policies and laws.

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b) Accelerated programs to formally recognize the rights of eligible landholders and to have them recorded in a strengthened land administration system. c) An efficient land administration system operating throughout the Philippines in accord with government policy and responsive to the needs of the people, supported by a sustainable financing mechanism. d) An effective and transparent land valuation system, in line with internationally accepted standards that serves the needs of all levels of government and the private sector. e) A well-functioning land market operating in both urban and rural areas.

D. Major Gaps or Issues
Competing pressures and conflicts for land have given rise to serious land management issues in the Philippines for a long time. They have stunted the growth of the land market and, consequently, of the economy. They have also limited the capacity of the land sector to contribute significantly in the fight against poverty. These issues are as follows:

1. Policy and Institutional
Multiple Agencies Involved in Land Administration Fragmentation best describes the state of land administration in the country. Two or more agencies are involved in key areas of land administration. DENR/NAMRIA and NCIP are involved in the primary classification of public land as alienable and disposable. DENR/LMB, DAR and NCIP undertake land surveys for titling purposes. Both DENR and LRA approve subdivision surveys for titling purposes for registered lands. DENR, DAR, courts and NCIP award original ownership rights to A&D lands. DENR/LMB and LRA separately maintain their own versions of cadastral maps and records. Several agencies compile land maps and information. DOF/BIR and LGUs undertake land valuation and related mapping for tax purposes. (LAMP, Institutional Arrangements Policy Study, June 2002, p. 31). This situation has resulted to inefficiencies the most notable of which are as follows: i) uncertainty in land tenure, discouraging economic activity, ii) undue complexity in land titling, deterring formal titling of land, and opening areas for corruption; iii) unnecessary risks of conflicting titling decisions; iv) high dispute and litigation over land matters; and v) unnecessary costs to government budget (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, pp.11–12). Outdated and Inconsistent Laws Land laws in the Philippines have been characterized as antiquated or conflicting. Of the two major laws, the Public Land Act (CA 141) and the Property Registration Decree (PD 1529), the former is 66 years old while the latter is 24 years old.

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These land laws could no longer respond adequately to present realities and demands. The Public Land Act, for instance, still requires up to now the publication of sales application in Spanish when it has long ceased to be an official language and is not of widespread use in the country. It focuses more on concession or disposition of A&D lands of the public domain rather than on their sustainable management, and on freehold (absolute ownership) rather than on leasehold (beneficial ownership), which may no longer be appropriate considering the decreasing lands available for disposition. The Property Registration Decree has provided for cadastral registration proceedings to expedite the titling of large tracts of land, and yet the government no longer avails of this mode. It has become a dead letter law. The substantial number of land- related legislations have resulted in inconsistent provisions. It has been pointed out, for example, that under the Administrative Code of 1987, DENR is empowered to “(e)xercise exclusive jurisdiction on the management and disposition of all lands of the public domain and serves as the sole agency responsible for classification, subclassification, surveying and titling of lands xxx” (EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title XIV, chap. I, sec. 4[15]). However, the same Code also authorizes the DAR to “(u)dertake land surveys on lands covered by agrarian reform xxx.” (EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title XI, chap. I, sec. 3 [11]). (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, p.9). Moreover, the Property Registration Decree also mandates the LRA to verify and approve subdivision, consolidation, and consolidationsubdivision survey plans of titled properties (PD 1529 [1978], Chapter II, Sec.6 in relation to EO 292 [1989], Book IV, Title III, Chap. 9, Sec. 28). Inconsistencies arose partly because of the failure of succeeding laws to expressly repeal related provisions of earlier statutes. Dual Process for Land Titling The Philippines subscribes to a dual process of registering ownership to land, namely: administrative and judicial. The former involves registration of ownership through administrative agencies, while the latter is coursed through the courts. Administrative titling is undertaken either by DENR through any of the modes of acquiring public A&D lands under the Public Land Act (homestead, sale or free patent), or by DAR with respect to lands covered by the agrarian reform program under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law, or by the NCIP for ancestral lands pursuant to the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. Judicial titling involves confirmation of imperfect title to land either by the Regional or Municipal Trial Courts depending on the value of the property. The process entails filing an application, hearing on the merits, promulgation of judgment, and issuance of a decree of registration. Compared to administrative titling, judicial titling is extremely time consuming and expensive for ordinary applicants. The existence of a dual process for land titling has proven to be a major source of inefficiency of the land administration system. Even simple matters such as correction of typographical errors or reconstitution of lost/ destroyed titles could be tedious and time consuming as they also require judicial proceedings (PD 1529 [1978], sec. 108 & 109).

Multiple Forms of Land Ownership The dual process of titling land has spawned various forms of ownership to land. DENR issues Homestead Patent, Free Patent, or Sales Patent over untitled A&D lands. DAR grants emancipation patents (EP) for rice and corn lands covered by agrarian reform, or certificates of land wwnership award (CLOA) for all other types of land under the program. NCIP is authorized to issue certificates of ancestral domain title or certificates of ancestral land title

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(CADT/CALT) for ancestral domain or ancestral land identified and delineated pursuant to the IPRA law. On the other hand, the courts issues Judicial Patent for lands applied for titling through judicial proceedings. These various forms of land ownership, although purportedly confirming or recognizing a person’s rights to land, have shown varying efficacy. For instance, judicial patents or titles are generally preferred or accorded more value over administrative patents or titles as security for bank loans. They are perceived to be more stable or secure over the other types of titles. Multiple Property Taxes and Tax Disincentives National and local governments impose taxes on real property. Local governments collect taxes on the value of land, while both national and local governments tax land transfers. The major problems related to the present land taxation structure have been identified as follows: i) high cost of real property transactions primarily due to two national taxes, capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax, which together add 7.5% to the cost of transactions, compared to a total of only 1% for the local transfer tax and the register of deeds fees combined; ii) requirement that transfer taxes and delinquent real property taxes be paid prior to registration of land transfers; and iii) sub optimal collection of real property taxes by local governments. (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, p.10). The effects of high transactions taxes are direct and systemic. Direct effects include the following: i) they discourage formal transactions because buyers and sellers find it harder to agree on a selling price; ii) they provide opportunities for officials within the land administration system to engage in inappropriate practices; iii) they make sellers and buyers seek non-formal ways of transacting to avoid the taxes and inappropriate practices, thereby reducing the number of formal transactions even further; and iv) they put pressure on the valuation system to reduce the assessed value of property to compensate for the high tax rates. Systemic effects are i) low tax collections at both national and local levels; and ii) widespread loss of credibility for formal land transactions. (LAMP, Fees and Finance Policy Study, July 2002, pp. iv – v).

Multiple Land Valuation Methods Several agencies perform land valuation functions. DENR conducts appraisal of public lands or properties subject of sale or lease. The Land Bank performs valuation of agricultural lands to be acquired and distributed under the agrarian reform program. The Department of Finance prescribes zonal values, while the LGUs through their Assessors’ Offices undertake assessments of real properties for taxation purposes. Courts determine just compensation when properties are expropriated for public use. Each agency uses different standards and formula for valuation. In most cases the values arrived at are substantially below fair market prices such that valuations are often subject of disputes. In fact low valuation is one of the most common causes of landowner resistance to CARP. This situation is aggravated by the lack of technically trained valuators. In DENR, the appraisal/reappraisal of public lands and patrimonial properties of the government that are subject of sale, lease or permit is conducted by an appraisal committee created either by the regional executive director or the LMB director. The committee is composed of three members drawn from the CENRO, regional office, LMB, city or municipal assessor, and district engineer in case of properties situated in Baguio City, depending on the type of property under
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appraisal/reappraisal (DAO 98-20 [1998]). Except probably for the city or municipal assessor, the rest of the members generally have no technical or specialist training in land valuation. Moreover, the present standards or factors used in land valuation have failed to promote optimum property values. These inadequacies have resulted to unrealistic land valuations.

2. Operational/ Management
Incomplete Cadastral Survey Of the 1,523 municipalities, there is still a significant number whose cadastral survey has not been completed. These include 68 unsurveyed, 285 partially surveyed and 115 defectively surveyed municipalities. (Table 6/MTPDP, 2001–2004, p 178). The delay is partly attributable to the devolution of land survey to LGUs. The return of land survey to DENR/LMB under DENR Administrative Order No. 2001-23 should now facilitate the conduct of cadastral survey. Cadastral maps are vital not only in facilitating the settlement of titles to land but in minimizing or preventing overlapping or fake titles. Need to Accelerate, and Promote Gender Equality in, Land Distribution Data on the status of land resources confirm the need to accelerate land distribution and titling in the country. Originally, CARP was envisioned for 10 years. However, 14 years after passage of the CARP law, only 71% (5.69 million hectares) of the total target (8.1 million hectares) of distributable agricultural lands has been accomplished, leaving a balance of 29% (2.4 million hectares). CARP in fact is now on extension up to 2008 (RA 8532 [1998]). DENR has accomplished 66% (2.5 million hectares) of its target and has yet to distribute 1.29 million hectares (54%) of public agricultural lands. The reported 1.3 million hectares untitled agricultural lands corroborate this. The rights to land of a substantial number of eligible landholders, therefore, remain unrecognized. This is especially true for A&D lands that have been occupied and cultivated for 30 years. Occupants of these lands merely have to go through the process of confirming their titles and are entitled as a matter of right to a free patent or judicial patent depending on which route one chooses. The rule is that alienable public land held by a possessor or through his predecessor-in-interest, openly, continuously and exclusively for the prescribed statutory period (30 years under the Public Land Act) is converted to private property by the mere lapse of said period ipso jure (by operation of law). (Director of Lands vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 146 SCRA 509 [1986]). But because of the delay, the rights to the land of these legitimate possessors remain “paperless” or undocumented or unrecognized. It has prevented them from accessing credit for farm development, and exposed their areas to squatting and land grabbing. Moreover, up until middle of 2002, DENR rules, regulations and procedures discriminated against women in the application and issuance of land patents. They prohibited women from applying for homestead patents without the written consent of their husbands. (Lands Administrative Order No. 7-1). This provision has been recently repealed by DENR Administrative Order No. 2002 –13, Series of 2002, but the benefits to women of such repeal have yet to be fully realized. The delay in land distribution could be partly attributed to a jurisdictional dispute between DAR and DENR during the previous administration. In 1999, DENR Memorandum Circular No.

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99-22 was issued directing all Regional Executive Directors “to strictly exercise jurisdiction over all Alienable and Disposable lands of the public domain xxx and prepare the same for disposition to qualified and legitimate recipients under the Peoples’ Alliance for the Rehabilitation of Environment of the Office of the Secretary.” Consequently, the turnover of A&D lands for CARP was suspended and all free patent applications nationwide were forwarded to the DENR Central Office in Quezon City for approval regardless of area. This resulted in delays in the issuance of patents. Inefficient Land Records Management Land records which consist of public land application (PLA) records, survey records and legal records are currently held at the LMB and the DENR field offices (CENRO/PENRO/Regional Office). They are incomplete, lost or damaged. Facilities for storage and safekeeping are grossly inadequate. Computerization has yet to be adopted. Access to land records by the general public has proved frustrating and highly unreliable. It has often become the proverbial search for a needle in the haystack, which has fostered graft and corruption. Proliferation of Fake/ Spurious Titles Alienable lands of the public domain are limited to agricultural lands. Yet, titling in forestlands and protected areas, which are non A&D lands, is becoming rampant. Titles issued over these lands are null and void and the lands covered are subject to reversion proceedings. In 1999, for instance, the Land Bank suspended payments for lands under voluntary offer to sell (VOS) in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur due to reports that the properties under VOS have been recycled several times using fictitious titles. The suspension involved 77,000 hectares amounting to P 2.8 billion. The titles were made to appear as old free patents. Illegal titling does not only involve private lands; it has also affected forestlands or protected areas (e.g. Bataan National Park). Even small islands off Palawan that are considered national reserves under Proclamation No. 219 (1967) have reportedly been illegally titled. The proliferation of fake or spurious titles has seriously undermined the security and integrity of the Torrens system. As a rule, titles are considered indefeasible and conclusive, i.e., they cannot be defeated or revoked or made void. However, the doctrine does not apply where the title was secured by fraud or misrepresentation (Republic vs. De Guzman, 326 SCRA 257 {2000], or if the title covers forestland or non-A&D lands (Bracewell vs. Court of Appeals, 323 SCRA 1993 [2000]), or where the authenticity of the certificate is disputed. (Dolfo vs. Register of Deeds of Cavite, 341 SCRA 58 [2000]). Fake titles become possible partly because of the lack of a spatial reference in the form of cadastral maps at the offices of the Registers of Deeds (RODs) for bona fide titles.

3. Cross- Sectoral
Incomplete Land Classification Of the country’s 30 million hectares, 1.1 million hectares (4%) remain unclassified as of Dec. 2000. There are lingering doubts on the legality of classifying these areas due to the prohibition against reclassification of forestlands until Congress enacts a law determining the specific limits of the public domain. (RA 6657 [1988], sec. 4[a]). These areas are a potential

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source of A&D lands, which could be distributed to qualified beneficiaries. However, there is also the competing need to retain these areas (e.g. small islands, those covered by unsigned proclamations, etc.) for forest protection purposes. Preliminary determination made by NAMRIA shows that about 318,094 hectares of unclassified areas could be released as A&D lands, while 575,627 hectares retained for forest purposes. The decisions that have to be made in relation to this issue is as follows: Can the remaining unclassified areas be classified now? If yes, how much unclassified land should be released as A&D, and how much retained for forest purposes? Improper or Unauthorized Developments Along Foreshore Areas Foreshores, which are alternately covered and uncovered by the ebb and flow of tide, are flood prone areas and situated near coral reefs, hence, environmentally critical. However, the environmental impact of developments along foreshores is not properly considered in the issuance of foreshore leases. Some encroach salvage zones; thus, impeding public access and free flow of water. To resolve this problem there is a need to address the following questions: Should an ECC be required in the issuance of foreshore leases? Should the concerned LGU participate in the evaluation of foreshore lease applications? If yes, how? Unreliable Land Resource Information Multiple agencies involved in land administration (DENR [LMB/LMS/NAMRIA]/LRA/DAR/ etc.) generate data on land classification, land survey, land titling, land tenure, etc. Often these data are inaccurate, incomplete and/or outdated. A few examples in this framework plan could be cited: the conflicting data on land classification between NAMRIA and the Forest Management Bureau (pp.4–5); the need to update LMB’s data on cadastral survey status (p.13), and the inconsistent data by DAR on land distribution targets and accomplishment. (pp. 6–7). In addition, there is a lack of decision maps, which are important in minimizing land use conflicts, especially with the implementation of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA). Decision maps provide an overlay of the different land uses of a given area, such as those covered by timber license agreements (TLAs), industrial forest management agreements (IFMAs), protected areas, ancestral domain claims, etc. They are particularly important in the proper delineation of ancestral domains in light of the IPRA provision that property rights within ancestral domains already existing and/or vested upon the effectivity of said Act should be recognized and respected (RA 8371 [1997], sec. 56). Decision maps will prevent overlapping of ancestral domains with prior and existing property rights regimes. Thus, the issue here is: How can land resource information be rationalized to enhance land administration and management and facilitate the recognition and titling of ancestral domain or ancestral land claims?

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II. MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK A. Guiding Principles
What then should the direction be of the land management sector for the next 10 years? And how should the sector get there? The directions and priority thrusts of the land management sector for the short/ medium terms shall be guided by the following fundamental principles: 1) Equity, which means that land resources should benefit a greater number of people and not just a few. 2)Sustainability, which provides that the use and enjoyment of land resources should benefit not only the present but future generations of Filipinos as well. 3) Subsidiarity, which requires that stakeholders in the land sector should be given effective participation in planning and decision-making relative to land use and management. 4) Accountability, which mandates that officials and employees in the land management sector must, as stewards of a vital natural resource, serve with the highest degree of public trust and accountability.

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B. Operational Framework
The operational framework (Figure 2) illustrates how the land management sector relates to the goal of achieving economic growth anchored on social equity, and how sustainable economic growth, in turn, ensures the efficient functioning and delivery of services by the sector.

Figure 2. Operational Framework for Land Management
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GROWTH WITH SOCIAL EQUITY

• Increased • More
Budget Personnel Technology & Equipment

• Improved Productivity • Increased
ACCELERATED RURAL DEVELOPMENT

• Improved

Income

LAND SURVEYS & MAPPING

LAND DISPOSITION & MANAGEMENT

Survey Records
LAND RECORDS MANAGEMENT

PLA Records Legal Records

EQUITABLE ACCESS TO LAND (More People with Access to Land)

LAND MANAGEMENT SERVICES SYSTEM

ISSUES/ CONSTRAINTS

STRATEGIES/ PRIORITY ACTIONS

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1. The Land Management Services System
The Land Management Services System is composed of three major activities: 1) land surveys and mapping, 2) land disposition and management, and 3) land records management. Land surveys and mapping refers to all activities related to the identification, delineation and mapping of A&D lands of the public domain and all other government lands and properties under the jurisdiction of the DENR. It embraces cadastral survey, field network survey, and all other types of survey being undertaken by the sector. Land disposition and management covers all activities related to the processing, approval and issuance of concessions (homestead, sale, lease, free patent, etc.) involving public lands in favor of qualified individuals; investigation and resolution of land cases; and inventory and monitoring of foreshores, reservations and patrimonial properties. Land records management pertains to all activities related to receiving, releasing, classifying, filing or retrieval of land records. These include survey records, public land application (PLA) records, and legal records. These major activities are interdependent, complementary and cyclical. To illustrate, no public land can be disposed through any of the modes of concession without an approved survey. In turn, the need for surveys depends on the demand for and magnitude of land disposition and management. Land claims and conflicts invariably require that the disputed property be surveyed before they can be properly decided. Land records are generated from land surveys and mapping, and land disposition and management activities. Efficient records management, on the other hand, highly facilitates land surveys and mapping as well as land disposition and management. Major gaps or issues affect the efficient functioning of the land management services system. They severely constrain the system’s operations and its capability to contribute to economic growth and development. Thus, there is a need to vigorously pursue the strategies and priority actions that have been identified herein to address these gaps or issues.

2. Relevance to Sustainable Rural Development
The Constitution broadly lays out the country’s development path. Sound agricultural development and agrarian reform shall be the basis of industrialization. And equitable distribution of opportunities, income and wealth is one of the goals of the national economy. (CONST., art. XII, sec. 1). In short, sustainable rural development is a precondition to national development, and sustainable rural development presupposes equitable access to resources. The land management services system provides grants or concessions over public lands in favor of qualified individuals, either through freehold (absolute ownership) or leasehold (beneficial ownership). The former includes patents (homestead, sales, free patent), while the latter covers leases or permits. Efficient operation of the system results in more people having access to land for productive endeavors, without discrimination as to gender or sex. Thus, equitable access to land does not only mean the grant of patents or titles, but also leases, permits, or other forms of concession short of ownership. Equitable access to land encourages agricultural productivity, and increased productivity results in higher rural incomes. The positive impact of providing access to land on productivity is confirmed by a case study on agrarian reform in the Philippines involving five villages in

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Central Luzon and Iloilo: “(L)and reform resulted in higher investment in physical capital, a greater increase in the intergenerational transmission of human capital, and greater household welfare and productivity. The impact of obtaining land was several orders of magnitude higher than that of education and, if anything, negatively related to initial endowments.” (Deininger, et al., Redistribution, Investment, and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines). Increased rural incomes promote greater spending and generate more investments in agriculture. Expansion of economic activities in the countryside’s provides more employment and accelerates rural development. This, eventually, leads to overall economic growth and well being for a greater number of people. Sustained economic growth makes possible the provision of increased budget, more personnel, and improved technology and equipment, which are crucial inputs to the efficient functioning of the Land Management Services System.

C. Vision, Mission, Goals and Objectives
1. Vision and Mission
The land management sector envisions: More Filipinos with access to land; a land administration system that is professional, highly efficient and credible; and public lands under sustainable management for the benefit of present and future generations. Its mission is: To judiciously administer and manage alienable and disposable lands of the public domain, government - owned lands, and other lands not placed under the jurisdiction of other government agencies in order to maximize their use and benefit for a greater number of people.

2. Goals and Objectives
The goals of land management are: 1) enhance the contribution of the land sector to economic growth through equitable access to land, 2) improve delivery of land- related services to the public by strengthening the land administration system, and 3) promote sustainable management of land resources. Its sectoral objectives are as follows: 1) facilitate distribution of public A & D lands by completing cadastral survey of all cities and municipalities; 2) ensure greater access to land by as many qualified people as possible, without discrimination as to gender or sex; 3) streamline the institutional structure and responsibilities for land administration and management; 4) provide a simplified and inexpensive mode for land titling through administrative process; 5) maintain public confidence in the Torrens System of land registration; 6) improve the quality of, and facilitate access to, land resource information to enhance land administration and management and expedite the recognition of ancestral domain or ancestral land claims; 7) encourage the registration of property transactions through the removal of tax disincentives and maximize cost recovery for land-related services; 8) ensure that fair and realistic land values result from land valuation or appraisal; and 9) promote proper use and development of foreshore areas and patrimonial properties.

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D. Strategies and Priority Actions
To address the major gaps or issues, thus, accomplish the goals and objectives of the land sector, appropriate strategies and priority actions have been identified. These strategies and priority actions are aligned with, and/or supportive of, the core and support strategies for the ENR sector. The core strategies are: 1) proper resource use and allocation and equitable access to resources, 2) intensified adoption and implementation of poverty-reduction programs, and 3) efficient and effective enforcement of environmental laws and regulations. On the other hand, the support strategies are: 1) good and shared governance, 2) intensified adoption and implementation of market –based instruments (MBI’s) and other economic measures to complement command and control (CAC), and 3) intensified IEC and information system development. The strategies and priority actions are likewise consistent with and/or complement the goals and expected outputs of LAMP. It should be noted that the LAMP, which is already on stream, is strategically positioned to provide focus and resources towards the goal of strengthening land administration in the country. It could serve as the lynchpin of efforts to effect structural reform in the sector. It has, in fact, prepared a blueprint for land administration reform (see Annex “A”). The strategies and priority thrusts for the land sector are as follows:

1. Core Strategies
Proper Resource Use and Allocation and Equitable Access to Resources i) Complete the Classification of Unclassified Areas In Opinion No. 23, Series of 1995, the DOJ has ruled that the prohibition against the reclassification of forestlands under Sec 4 (a) of RA 6657 does not apply to unclassified public forest. Nonetheless, there is some concern that this opinion failed to take into account the provision of the Constitution stating that it is Congress that shall determine by law the specific limits of forest lands (Art. XII, sec. 4.). Thus, according to this view, the classification of unclassified areas has to pass through Congress. The need to complete the classification of unclassified areas, however, is particularly important in accelerating land disposition. The DENR top management can approach this in two ways: 1) proceed to classify unclassified areas on the basis of the existing DOJ opinion, or 2) seek another legal opinion from the DOJ on whether its first ruling applies even with the constitutional provision mandating Congress to determine the specific limits of forest lands. Once the decision to proceed with the classification of unclassified areas is made, the land evaluation parties (LEPs) in the regions can be utilized for the purpose of classifying these areas under the technical supervision of NAMRIA. The areas to be released, as A&D and those to be retained for forest purposes, should be determined/ segregated through strict observance of existing land classification guidelines, particularly on land suitability assessment. ii) Complete Cadastral Survey of All Cities/ Municipalities Completion of cadastral survey is essential to sound land administration. It is a prerequisite to proper land titling. Completion of cadastral survey will entail, among others, upgrading of survey and mapping equipment, and computerization of survey verification and approval; and provision of more budget for administrative and contractual surveys. MTDP has targeted,

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for this purpose, 68 unsurveyed, 285 partially surveyed, and 115 defectively surveyed municipalities for 2001–2004 (p. 178).

Implementation of Poverty Reduction Programs iii) Accelerate, and Promote Gender Equality in, the Distribution of Public Alienable & Disposable Lands The slow progress of land distribution will necessitate decisive and determined interventions. Accelerating land distribution will entail 1) classifying the remaining unclassified areas (1.1 million hectares), 2) increasing the scope and pace of patent issuance, and 3) simplifying procedures for public land applications. As noted earlier, DOJ has ruled that there is no legal bar to the classification of the remaining unclassified areas. If the present DENR management subscribes to this opinion, this will provide closure to the long-delayed land classification work in the country. The restoration of the signing and approval of land patents to the regional executive directors (Memoranda, March 12 and April 15, 2002) is a step in the right direction towards increasing the scope and pace of patent issuance and simplifying procedures. Indeed, effectively decentralizing the approval of patents to the DENR field offices will greatly expedite patent issuance and enable the DENR to recover its backlog in land distribution. Accelerating land distribution should be undertaken with full consideration for gender concerns, in accordance with the directive to purge DENR rules, regulations and procedures of gender bias. As earlier noted, the provision of Lands Administrative Order No. 7-1 which prohibited women from applying for homestead patents without the written consent of their husbands has already been repealed. Women, regardless of civil status, shall now enjoy equal rights with men in the filing, acceptance, processing and approval of public land applications. (DAO 2002 – 13 [2002]). However, conscious and determined efforts should be undertaken to ensure that the repeal of this discriminatory provision is strictly implemented and that gender equality is scrupulously observed in the issuance of public land patents.

Efficient and Effective Environmental Law Enforcement iv) Reform and Consolidate Land Administration Laws Substantive changes in the land sector cannot be had without a major overhaul of its legal framework. The policy studies completed under LAMP have stressed that land administration laws should: 1) be clear, concise, consistent and coherent; 2) facilitate and ensure the provision of secure ownership; and 3) provide for simple, quick and inexpensive land administration processes. The reformation of land laws should be geared towards the following strategic directions: 1) abolish judicial processes for the issue and registration of land titles in favor of simple administrative processes, 2) clarify the rights of persons occupying land to obtain titles, and 3) progressively extend the Torrens Title register to become a comprehensive record of all rights relating to land. The revision/ consolidation of land laws should include the following key recommendations of the Land Administration Laws Study under LAMP, to wit: 1) abolishing judicial proceedings in favor of simple administrative processes for confirmation of incomplete or imperfect title, reconstitution of lost or destroyed certificates of title, removal of reservations on reconstituted
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titles, replacement of lost or destroyed duplicate certificates of title, amendment and alteration of certificates of title; 2) simplifying the administrative process of confirming incomplete or imperfect title (free patent) based on the issue of a certificate of title to landholders who can establish possession and occupation for a fixed period; 3) confirming an incomplete or imperfect title should be based on possession for the same period as provided in the Civil Code for prescription in good faith (i.e. 10 years); 4) possessing and occupying prior to release of land as alienable and disposable should be counted in the confirming an imperfect title; v) recognizing rights over titled land based on prescription; and vi) evidencing all registered rights of ownership through one document to be known as certificate of title. (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, pp. 16–17). v) Intensify Campaign Against Fake Titles The campaign against false/spurious titles shall be intensified through (i) more vigorous investigation of fake and spurious titles, (ii) prosecution of responsible persons, (iii) sustained IEC campaign, and (iv) use of cadastral maps at Registers of Deeds as reference for issued titles. The thrust should not only be to cancel fake or spurious titles and to revert lands to the public domain, but also to vigorously prosecute responsible officials and private parties. This campaign is crucial in maintaining confidence in the Torrens System of land registration. vi) Incorporate Environmental Safeguards in Issuance of Foreshore Leases To properly regulate developments along foreshore areas, the requirement for an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) should be strictly enforced when issuing foreshore leases. This will enable DENR to first consider the environmental impact of proposed developments on foreshore areas and prescribe appropriate environmental safeguards before issuing the lease. The participation of the LGU concerned in the evaluation of foreshore lease applications should be promoted. This will enable the LGU to check the proposed development for consistency with its physical framework plan/land use plan/zoning ordinance, and to require that local environmental concerns be addressed. This can be done through public hearings during the EIA process, or by securing the comment and recommendation of the MPDC or city/ municipal environmental officer on applications for foreshore lease.

2. Support Strategies
Good and Shared Governance i) Establish a Land Administration Authority To address the fragmentation of land administration services, LAMP has recommended for the merger of the LMB/LMS, LRA and NAMRIA into an autonomous Land Administration Authority (LAA). This will resolve any overlapping/ conflicting jurisdictions, perceived or real, among the key agencies involved in land administration. The establishment of the LAA is the centerpiece of the proposed institutional reform agenda under LAMP. It is intended to pursue the following strategic directions: 1) strengthen leadership and management of reform; 2) remove duplication and overlap in delivery of land administration services; 3) improve the efficiency, responsiveness, transparency, and

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accountability of services; and iv) consolidate and coordinate production of/ access to land information. The LAA shall be responsible for the following core land administration functions: land mapping and survey, land classification, land information, disposition of alienable and disposable public land, first-time issue of certificates of title, registration of certificates of title and title transactions, verification and approval of subdivision plans, all cadastral land records; and land valuation standards and methods. It shall be established through legislation, which will provide its charter, powers and functions. It shall be governed by a board, appointed by the president, including representatives of users of land administration services. The LAA shall be given clear mandate to lead and manage the long-term reform of the land administration system. (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, pp. 15-16). The LAA shall exercise jurisdiction over the adjudication of land cases, especially with the abolition of the judicial process of land titling, including the cancellation of fake or spurious titles. Decisions of the LAA shall be appealable to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. During the consultations for this framework plan, it was proposed that the LAA be placed under the control and supervision of DENR. DENR, it has been noted, performs about 90% of the core functions in the administrative process of land titling, such as: field investigation, survey, resolution of claims and conflicts, processing, appraisal/ evaluation, and patent issuance; whereas the LRA and other agencies perform only approximately ten percent (10%) thereof such as registration of title, taxes and fees assessments. Moreover, historically, DENR, through its predecessor agencies such as the Bureau of Forestry and the Bureau of Lands, has been performing land classification, survey and titling longer than any other agency of the government. It thus has acquired a high degree of technical expertise and competence in these fields. ii) Implement Land Records Management Information System Land records management shall be upgraded through immediate and full implementation of the Land Records Management Information System (LRMIS). The LRMIS is a computer- based records handling and storage system, which aims to update LMB’s obsolete records management system. This will ensure a more effective data generation of all survey and public land records. Implementation of the LRMIS will require completion of its initial phase, to wit: (i) inventory of existing records, and (ii) reconstitution of missing/ damaged records. Concomitantly, upgrading of land records infrastructure, i.e., equipment, storage facilitates, etc., imaging/ computerization of records coupled with training of personnel should be carried out.

Adoption of Market-Based Instruments and Other Economic Measures iii) Rationalize Land Taxation and Remove Disincentives for Land Transfers Reforms in land taxes and fees are designed to have a clearer division of land related fiscal responsibility between national and local governments; lower costs, in both money and time, for land transactions; and improve cost recovery for land administration services. Thus, the strategic directions along this area are as follows: 1) devolve responsibility for taxation of real property ownership and transfers to local government, 2) streamline land transfers and remove disincentives to their formal registration by the Register of Deeds, and 3) progress towards cost recovery for land administration services.

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The envisioned changes should incorporate the key recommendations of the Taxes and Fees Study under LAMP, to wit: 1) agree to halve the current rate of capital gains tax on property transactions and then review the future of capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax in 2 years’ time with a view to possibly exempting property transactions from these taxes; 2) as part of the said review, consider the possibilities for increasing local government flexibility to vary the rates of the real property tax (RPT) and transfer tax; 3) confirm that payment of back taxes is not a prerequisite for the issuance of a first land title; 4) remove the requirement for payment of property taxes as prerequisite for registration of a transfer of title; 5) when revenues have risen sufficiently to make LGUs more self-reliant, retain all RPT revenues in the community in which they are raised, i.e., the municipality or city, rather than being shared with the province. This would mean modifying the Local Government Code to make RPT a municipal tax; 6) when revenues have risen sufficiently to make LGUs more self-reliant, reformulate the IRA, linking it to some measure of LGUs’ fiscal performance; vii) increase all land administration fees that currently do not recover costs (except those associated with first time titling). (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, p. 18). iv) Develop and Implement a Uniform Land Valuation System With respect to land valuation, the strategic directions will focus on the following: 1) remove local government political intervention in processes for assessment of property values; 2) adopt a single valuation basis for all real property taxation; and 3) develop, implement, and enforce uniform, best practice, valuation standards within government. Towards these ends, the key recommendations of the Land Valuation Study under LAMP should be pursued, to wit: 1) establish a central appraisal unit within the proposed Land Administration Authority exercising statutory powers to develop valuation standards, regulate valuation practices within government, and encourage development of the appraisal profession; 2) develop and implement one market-based land valuation system to be used for all property taxation purposes; 3) pending implementation thereof, require the BIR and LGUs to commit to regular review of real property valuations for taxation purposes; 4) amend the Local Government Code to allocate responsibility for appointment of provincial and city assessors to the proposed central appraisal unit, and to repeal the position of municipal assessor; and 5) amend the Local Government Code to allocate responsibility for preparing and approving of the schedule of market values to assessors, subject to compliance report by the central appraisal unit. (LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002, p. 19).

IEC and Information Systems Development v) Improve Quality of, and Facilitate Access to, Land Resource Information In the short term, agencies involved should enhance coordination by instituting systems and procedures to facilitate access to, and validation or crosschecking of land resources data. For the medium/long term, responsibility for land resource information management should be centralized or consolidated with the proposed Land Administration Authority. Generation of reliable decision maps (by NAMRIA) in the short term should be given top priority in support of the implementation of IPRA. Decision maps, as earlier pointed out, will facilitate the delineation of ancestral domain/ ancestral land claims vis-a- vis prior and existing property rights. The need to recognize and promote the rights of indigenous cultural communities/indigenous peoples (ICCs/ IPs), particularly with respect to their ancestral domains or ancestral lands, has been settled by the IPRA. Thus, once NCIP has certified that an
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area, under DENR jurisdiction, is an ancestral domain/ ancestral land, such notification shall, pursuant to the law, terminate any legal basis for the jurisdiction previously claimed (RA 8371 [1997], sec. 52 [i]). The DENR should forthwith turnover the area to NCIP.

III. ACTION AGENDA A. Implementing Actions
To implement the foregoing strategies and priority thrusts, an action plan is presented in Table 7. The action agenda shows the recommended strategic interventions and priority actions over the short term (2–5 years) and the medium term (6–10 years). As a rule, where the strategy or priority action is a concern under LAMP, the same shall be pursued and implemented under its auspices, and LMB and DENR field offices shall provide full support as required. This will prevent duplication of efforts and allow for wise utilization of limited organizational resources. Table 7. Action Plan for Land Management Major Gap/ Issue

Strategy

Priority Action Medium-Term (6-10 Short-Term (2-5 yrs) yrs)

Policy/Institutional 1) Multiple agencies involved in land administration Establish a Land Administration Authority (LAA) Recast proposed Revised Public Land Act into an Omnibus Land Code and incorporate the merger of LMB/LMS, LRA & NAMRIA into LAA. (LAMP Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug.2002, pp.15-16) Incorporate into Omnibus Land Code the seven key recommendations of Land Laws & Regulations Policy Study under LAMP (e.g., abolition of judicial processes for land titling and related matters, one Certificate of Title and one Register of Titles recording all rights to land, etc.) (LAMP Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug., 2002, p.17) Secure enactment of Omnibus Land Code with provision for creation of LAA, and implement merger Secure enactment of Omnibus Land Code with proposed policy/ legal reforms

2) Outdated & inconsistent laws 3) Dual process for land titling 4) Multiple forms of land ownership 5) Multiple property taxes & tax disincentives

Reform & consolidate land administration laws

Rationalize land taxation & remove disincentives for land transfers

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6) Multiple land valuation methods

Develop & implement a uniform land valuation system

Review tax laws affecting property transactions/ Local Government Code and incorporate seven key recommendations of Taxes and Fees Study under LAMP (e.g. capital gains tax, documentary stamp tax, real property tax, transfer tax, etc.) (LAMP Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug.2002, p.18) Provide for establishment of a Central Appraisal Unit within LAA, which will develop valuation standards, regulate valuation practices, & encourage development of appraisal profession Review Local Government Code and incorporate recommended amendments under Land Valuation Study of LAMP (I.e., appointment of Provincial/ City Assessors and preparation/ approval of Schedule of Market Values) Require BIR and LGUs to commit to regular review of real property valuations for taxation purposes (LAMP Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug.2002, p.19)

Secure enactment of proposed amendments on tax laws/ Local Government Code

Develop and implement one market –based land valuation system to be used for all property taxation purposes

Operational/ Management 1) Incomplete cadastral survey Complete cadastral survey Undertake cadastral survey of 68 unsurveyed, 285 Complete cadastral survey of

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of all cities/ municipalities

2) Need to accelerate, and promote gender equality in, land distribution

Accelerate, and promote gender equality in, the distribution of public A & D lands

partially surveyed and 115 defectively surveyed municipalities (Table 6. / MTPDP, 2001-2004, p.178). Also, 6 partially surveyed cities. Issue 274,460 patents covering 329,356 ha of A & D lands to beneficiaries (MTPDP, 2001-2004, p.178) Establish one-stop shops for filing, processing and approval of public land applications and issuance of titles. Simplify procedures. Complete inventory/ reconstitution of land records; undertake imaging of land records; provide land records infrastructure Investigate & cancel fake/spurious/ overlapping titles Secure deputization of DENR lawyers from OSG to handle title cancellations Intensify IEC campaign against fake titles

remaining unsurveyed municipalities/ cities

Continue issuance of patents over remaining untitled A & D lands

3) Inefficient land records management

Implement Land Records Management Information System (LRMIS) Intensify campaign against fake/spurious titles

Review/ upgrade LRMIS

4) Proliferation of fake/ spurious titles

Institutionalize measures against illegal titling

Cross-Sectoral 1) Incomplete land classification Complete the classification of unclassified areas Proceed with the classification of unclassified areas or seek another legal opinion from DOJ Mobilize Land Evaluation Parties to start classification of unclassified areas based on land suitability assessment Continue land classification until all unclassified areas are covered

2) Improper or unauthorized developments along

Incorporate environmental

Implement ECC requirement and other

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foreshore areas

safeguards in the issuance of foreshore leases

Strictly enforce submission of ECC prior to the issuance of foreshore leases Allow LGU participation in the evaluation of applications for foreshore leases Enhance coordination among LMB/LMS, NAMRIA, LRA, etc., on the generation and circulation of land resource information

environmental safeguards in the issuance of foreshore leases Consolidate responsibility for production and distribution of land information to LAA

3) Unreliable land resource information Improve the quality of, and facilitate access to, land resource information

B. Legislative Agenda
The need for appropriate laws to realize the proposed reforms in the land sector cannot be over-emphasized. Most of the far- reaching policy/ institutional changes would in fact require the revision or amendment of existing land laws or the enactment of entirely new statutes. There are presently two proposed major legislations on the land sector pending in Congress, namely: 1) Revised Public Land Act of the Philippines (Senate Bill No. 2293/ House Bill No. 4035); and 2) National Land Use Act of the Philippines (Senate Bill No.1944/ House Bill No.__ ). Senate Bill No. 2293 provides for the transformation of the present Land Management Bureau, a staff bureau, into the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a line bureau, with central, regional and district offices. (Chap. VII). The BLM shall have exclusive jurisdiction over original and subdivision surveys, as well as manage and dispose public agricultural lands. It shall also have original and exclusive jurisdiction over all actions affecting original titles to lands. (Sec. 5). The act retains the dual process of land titling through administrative and judicial means as well as the modes of disposition of public agricultural lands. (Chap. IV). House Bill No. 4035 is essentially similar to the Senate version in that it also provides for the creation of a line bureau (BLM) (Chap. VIII) and preserves the administrative and judicial processes of acquiring title to land (Chap. IV). The House bill explicitly states that the BLM shall have primary and exclusive jurisdiction to determine and adjudicate public lands and to cancel illegal titles emanating from patents, deeds and other conveyances (Sec. 5) Senate Bill No. 1944 provides that the National Land Use Act shall apply to all lands whether public, private or government-owned, and/ or in the possession of individuals, communities, or groups of people, to guide and/or govern the use, allocation and management of land resources (Sec.3). It stipulates the creation of a Land Use Policy Administration (LUPA) as the highest policy making body on land use responsible for integration of efforts, monitoring of developments relating to land use, evolution of policies, and regulations, and direction of land use planning processes. (Chap. III/ Sec.17-19). The LUPA shall also approve conversions of agricultural lands to non- agricultural uses (Sec. 32). The House version is also substantially similar to the Senate bill except for a few significant variations, namely: 1) instead of a LUPA, the House bill proposes a Land Use Policy Council (LUPC) with practically the same functions

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(Chap III/ Sec. 13-15); and 2) the DAR, instead of the LUPA, shall continue to exercise jurisdiction over the conversion of agricultural lands to non-agricultural uses (Sec.29). To implement the reforms in the land sector, as outlined in this framework plan, there is a need to enact the following legislations: 1) Omnibus Land Code; and 2) National Land Use Act. The proposed Omnibus Land Code will consolidate or codify all land administration laws (i.e. classification, survey, disposition, registration, and titling) and provide for the merger of LMB/ LMS, LRA and NAMRIA into a Land Administration Authority (LAA). This Code will also incorporate the key policy and/or legal reforms recommended by the Land Laws and Regulations Policy Study under LAMP, to include the abolition of judicial titling and related matters in favor of simple administrative processes, issuance of one certificate of title instead of multiple forms of land ownership, and maintenance of one register of title recording all rights to land. In short, the Omnibus Land Code will, among others, serve as the enabling legislation for the LAA. In this regard, there is a need to recast Senate Bill No. 2293 and House Bill No. 4035 into an Omnibus Land Code to be consistent with these proposed reforms. The early passage of a National Land Use Act (Senate Bill No. 1944/ House Bill No __) should be strongly endorsed. This proposed measure fills-in the gap in existing land laws in the country, i.e., the lack of adequate standards or policy guidelines for sustainable land use management. There is a need, however, to reconcile the conflicting provisions in the Senate and House versions as both bills go through the legislative mill. But whether it is LUPA or LUPC, this entity will not conflict with the proposed LAA since the former (LUPA/ LUPC) will focus on regulating land use; the latter (LAA) on land administration.

C. Research and Development Agenda
To complement the strategies and priority thrusts provided herein, the following research agenda is recommended for the land sector: 1) Survey on the tenure and socioeconomic status of beneficiaries of DENR’s land distribution program. 2) Study on alternative modes of providing access to land other than absolute ownership that promotes security of tenure and income for beneficiaries such as joint venture, co-production and production-sharing agreements. 3) Development of Integrated Social Forestry and Community-Based Forest Management (ISF/CBFM) areas, established under the agrarian reform program, as agrarian reform communities (ARCs) in the uplands. 4) Development of standards, techniques and models for sustainable landuse planning and management. 5) Study on maximizing the use and revenue-generation potentials of patrimonial properties under DENR management.

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6) Comprehensive survey of foreshore leases to determine compliance with terms and conditions and formulate policy options for delinquent leaseholders. 7) Development of uniform standards and methodologies for land valuation; Capacity-building on land resource management for DENR, LGUs, other agencies concerned and their respective personnel. 8) Study potential areas for public and private sector partnerships in land management and administration such as on land resource information and land valuation. The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) may undertake this research agenda in collaboration with LMB for the short term. However, for the medium and long terms, once the LAA is constituted, research and development in the land sector shall be undertaken under its aegis.

D. Integration of UN Millennium Johannesburg Agreements

Development

Goals

and

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Johannesburg Agreements were taken into consideration in this framework plan, particularly in the formulation of the strategies and priority actions for land resources management. The core and support strategies that have been identified (such as: complete the classification of unclassified areas; complete cadastral survey; accelerate, and promote gender equality in, the distribution of public lands; reform and consolidate land laws; incorporate environmental safeguards in foreshore leases; establish a Land Administration Authority; improve quality of, and access to, land resource information) directly or indirectly support or complement three of the MDG agenda, namely: 1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, 2) ensure environmental sustainability, and 3) promote gender equality and empower women. One of the agreements in the World Summit on Sustainable Development held at Johannesburg from August-September 2002, i.e., improve access to land and property for the urban and rural poor, has been incorporated as a key strategy for the land sector in this framework plan.

E. Institutional Directions
What will DENR’s role be in the land sector for the next 10 years and beyond? The answer to this question will depend on two factors: 1) the establishment of the Land Administration Authority (LAA) as envisioned under LAMP; and 2) which office or agency will the LAA, once established, be attached. If LAA is attached with DENR for policy oversight, DENR will thus continue to play a major role in the land sector. It will, however, cease to perform land-related operational and management functions. On the other hand, if LAA is attached to an office or agency other than
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DENR, DENR will necessarily cease to have any role in the land sector. The scope of its jurisdiction will be substantially reduced. It could end up only with the following sectors: forest and water resources, protected areas and biodiversity management, mineral resources; and environmental management—assuming that no further institutional changes will occur that could spin-off any of these. In the short term (2–5 years), it is envisioned that no major institutional changes in the land sector will occur that could affect DENR, as the focus will be in the drafting of LAA’s enabling legislation, submission to Congress, and securing its passage. Real institutional changes will occur after enactment of a law establishing the LAA. Of course, the possibility that this could take place within the next 2–5 years, as a demonstration of strong political resolve on the part of the present administration, should not be discounted. But regardless of when the LAA is established, the institutional repercussions on the DENR will still hinge mainly on which office or agency the LAA is attached. For now, therefore, the immediate challenge for DENR is how it can continue to be a major player in the land sector. However, once DENR is able to keep such role, still, the greater challenge is how it can successfully achieve the long-overdue reformation of the land sector, and thus harness its full potentials in the war against widespread poverty.

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REFERENCES
Alvarez H.T., Memoranda, March 12 and April 15, 2002 Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (1980), Judiciary Reorganization Act Brandao and Feder, Chapter 10 - Regulatory Policies and Reform: The Case of Land Markets, Regulatory Policies and Reform: A Comparative Perspective, Claudio Frishtak [ed], World Bank, December 1995 Commonwealth Act No. 141 (1936), Public Land Act DENR Administrative Order No. 13 Series of 2002 DENR Administrative Order No. 15 Series of 1995 DENR Administrative Order No. 28 Series of 1991 DENR Administrative Order No. 29 Series of 1998 DENR Administrative Order No. 37 Series of 1993 DENR Administrative Order No. 38 Series of 1990 Deininger and Binswanger, The Evolution of the World Bank’s Land Policy, July1998 Deininger, et al., Redistribution, Investment and Human Capital Accumulation: The Case of Agrarian Reform in the Philippines DOJ Opinion No. 176 (1992) DOJ Opinion No. 23 (1995) DENR, Annual Report, 2000 DENR, Manual for Land Disposition Executive Order No. 192 (1987), Reorganization Act of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Executive Order No. 292 (1989), Administrative Code of 1987 Executive Order No. 45 (1992) FAO/UNEP, Negotiating a Sustainable Future for Land. Structural and Institutional Guidelines for Land Resources Management in the 21st Century, 1997, cited in The Future of Our Land. Facing the Challenge, Guidelines for Integrated Planning for Sustainable Management of Land Resources, 1999 House Bill No. 4035, Revised Public Land Act

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House Bill No. ____, National Land Use Act (unnumbered) LAMP, Institutional Arrangements Policy Study, June 2002 LAMP, Fees and Finance Policy Study, July 2002 LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, August 2002 Lands Administrative Order No. 7 - 1 National Census and Statistic Office, Census 2000 (Final), May 1, 2000 NEDA, Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), 2001-2004 PARC Secretariat, CARP Annual Report, CY 2001 Presidential Decree No. 705 (1975), Revised Forestry Code Presidential Decree No. 1529 (1978), Property Registration Decree Republic Act No. 386 (1949), Civil Code of the Philippines Republic Act No. 6657 (1998), Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law Republic Act No. 7160 (1991), Local Government Code Republic Act No. 7694 (1994) Republic Act No. 8371 (1997), Indigenous Peoples Rights Act Republic Act No. 9162 (2002), General Appropriations Act, CY 2000 Senate Bill No. 1944, National Land Use Act Senate Bill No. 2293, Revised Public Land Act Supreme Court Reports Annotated (SCRA), Vol. 146 (1986), 323 (2000), 326 (2000), & 341 (2000) The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines United Nations, World Summit on Sustainable Development, Plan of Implementation, Sept. 4, 2002 (advance unedited text) World Bank, Informal Policy Note, Philippines, Land Management and Administration, May 18, 1998,

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ANNEX "A": A BLUEPRINT FOR LAND ADMINISTRATION REFORM LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT (1) Mandate the proposed LAA to lead and manage long-term reform. (2) Pending establishment of the LAA, consider strengthening Presidential Task Force resources.

STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Institutions Strengthen leadership and management of reform Remove duplication and overlap in delivery of services Improve the efficiency, responsiveness, transparency, and accountability of services Consolidate and coordinate production of and access to land information Laws Abolish judicial processes for issue and registration of title in favor of simple administrative processes Reform and consolidate land administration laws Clarify rights of persons occupying land to obtain a title Progressively extend the Torrens Title Register to record all rights relating to land Taxes and Fees Devolve responsibility for taxation of real property ownership and transfers to local government Streamline land transfers and remove disincentives to their formal registration by the Register of Deeds Progress towards cost recovery for services Land Valuation Remove local government political intervention in processes for assessment of property values Adopt a single valuation basis for all real property taxation Develop, implement, and enforce uniform, best practice, valuation standards within government 1.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR DECISION NOW The roles, functions and services of the Land Management Bureau/Land Management Services, Land Registration Authority and the National mapping and Resources Information Authority should be undertaken by a single, autonomous, Land Administration Authority (LAA) 2. A central appraisal unit should be established within the LAA for the regulation of valuation standards 3. Court processes for confirmation of incomplete/imperfect titles and other land titling and registration matters should cease, to be replaced by simple administrative processes 4. Title to land should be based on possession for the same period as provided for by the Civil Code 5. The current rate of capital gains tax (CGT) on property transactions should be halved, and then the future of CGT and documentary stamp tax reviewed in 2 years' time with a view to possibly exempting property transactions from these two taxes 6. The requirement for payment of real property taxes as a prerequisite for a registration of a transfer of title should be removed 7. One market-based land valuation system should be developed and implemented for all real property taxation purposes CONSULTATION AND CONSENSUS BUILDING (C & CB) 1.

TARGET OUTCOMES A single institutional focus for leadership and management of land administration reform 2. Institutional arrangements that are: strongly focused on meetings needs of the public; fully merged in a single agency; and efficient, responsive, transparent and accountable 3. Award of titles to land based wherever possible on evidence of long-term, peaceful, community -accepted occupation and use of land 4. Titles to land established by administrative procedure only, subject to rights of appeal 5. One certificate of title and one register of titles recording all rights relating to land 6. A clearer division of land-related fiscal responsibilities between national and local governments 7. Lower costs for land transactions 8. Improved cost recovery for services 9. Uniform valuation standards and methods within government sector 10. One valuation system for property taxation 11. Property tax revenues based on current property market values

i

(1) Publicly endorse this reform blueprint as the basis for further C & CB. (2) Implement the C & CB Action Plan.

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Source: LAMP, Policy Studies Integration Report, Aug. 2002.

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