Filipino farmers who want to avail of the government’s agricultural free patent program have until the end of the month to file their application at all Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs) nationwide.

According to the Land Management Bureau (LMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), CENROs will no longer accept applications beyond the Dec. 31, 2020 deadline set under Republic Act 9176, otherwise known as the Public Land Act of 2002.

The law had extended the filing of applications for free patent and judicial confirmation of imperfect and incomplete titles to alienable and disposable lands of public domain, thus amending Commonwealth Act 141 or the original Public Land Act.

Agricultural free patents are land grants awarded to natural-born Filipino citizens in actual occupation and cultivation for at least 30 years of alienable and disposable lands not more than 12 hectares, and have paid the corresponding real property taxes.

“Our field offices continue to accept agricultural free patent applications to give those who have been cultivating their lots for a long time the chance to have the same titled in their names,” LMB Director Emelyne V. Talabis said.

Talabis said the requirements for the application of agricultural free patents are as follows:
• Duly accomplished application form;
• Tax Declaration, Deed of Sale, Extra Judicial Settlement or Waiver of Rights;
• Certification from the Municipal Circuit or Regional Trial Court concerned that there is no pending land registration case involving the parcel being applied for;
• Approved Survey Plan with Technical Description or Form V37, if covered with isolated survey;
• Certification of status of land from the Land Registration Authority, if the municipality is under cadastral proceedings or if there is an old survey (Private and Original Survey);
• Certification that the land applied for is alienable and disposable; and
• Documentary stamp

In a Memorandum dated Nov. 23, 2020, DENR Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Human Resources and Legislative Affairs Ernesto D. Adobo Jr. clarified that all subsisting and new applications filed on or before Dec. 31, 2020, shall continue to be processed for the fiscal year 2021.
Adobo said the turn-around time is 110 maximum days as per Citizen’s Charter No. RO-L-03 titled Application for Free Patent (Agricultural), in compliance with RA 11032 or Ease of Doing Business Act.

After the deadline, Adobo said the regional offices can still process requests for subdivision of lots for titling purposes.
He, however, said the agency will resume accepting agricultural free patent applications once the bills seeking to extend or remove the deadline for filing is approved by Congress.

For more information, interested persons can visit the nearest CENRO of the place where the land is located. They can also contact LMB at telephone number (02) 8255-4362, mobile number at 0927-322-5474 or the official LMB Facebook page at ###