September 3, 2006
LAND REFORM LAW NEEDS REVISIONANGARA
Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for a more efficient land registration, titling and transfer system, and a continued review of the Agrarian Reform Law to ensure the land sectors contribution to economic growth and poverty alleviation.
Land is probably the only treasure we have left. Of the 13 million hectares of land, almost two-thirds is non-agriculturalmeaning you cannot use them because they are exclusively mountains and forestry. Meanwhile, private land is probably one of the most fraudulent sectors right now, said Angara who recently keynoted a forum on Land Titling and Registration held at the Manila Polo Club.
For instance, a farmer tilling his land, which took him five years to acquire, may not even be able to profit from it because his title is not secure and he has nothing to show for it. The inefficiency in land registration is vicious because it hits people directly, he said.
Land is vital to peoples sense of security and quest for a better life. The security of peoples land tenure can only be achieved through an efficient land administration system including efficient mapping of the land, registration of land titles, and public land management, said Angara.
Angara agreed with the remarks of Australian Ambassador Tony Hely that the country needs a better titling system through information advocacy, reform coalition and key leadership in Congress.
The government has been undertaking a Land Administration and Management Project to reform the present land administration system. However, the system should improve its information advocacy, coalition and leadership pertinent to the land sector, he continued.
As usual, we have a problem of overlapping jurisdictions. Right now, there are about six agencies handling land administration, he added.
Angara also said that the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) has somehow lost its legal force because it hindered systematic land distribution.
For the past 20 years, CARP is like a void legislation because instead of facilitating the distribution of land in the country, it has hampered and hindered the systematic and efficient land distribution system due to over-valuation of land properties enlisted under the program, Angara said.
CARP does not even have an independent body assigned to conduct an auditing in the realm of land investment, he continued.
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