Bohol First District Representative Rene L. Relampagos, during the meeting of the House Committee on Agrarian Reform which he chairs, recently discussed the legislative proposal to hasten land registration process in the country.
“Land registration in the country is very tedious. Documentary requirements are very hard to complete. It takes time. It costs money,” Chair Relampagos said. “House Bill 5487, principally authored by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, endeavors to eradicate the bureaucratic red tape in land registration which usually happens when government agencies require the submission of unnecessary documents.
In addition, this proposal would rationalize the process of land registration of agricultural lands by streamlining the requirements imposed by the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).”
During the hearing, the DAR and the Land Registration Authority, as key agencies engaged in land registration, made presentations on the process involving the same.
Under the current set-up, DAR clearance remains as one of the mandatory requirements for the registration of any transfer, sale or disposition of agricultural lands. The cost to get a DAR clearance alone, excluding registration fees, is around Php 10,000.00.
And the time to secure the clearance takes months.
The proposed measure, thus, provides that the DAR’s clearance permit for land registration shall only apply for lands covered by the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP); that the DAR approval or clearance permits shall not be required if the land for registration is not covered by the CARP, under Section 10 of Republic Act 6657, and below the five-hectare retention limit under Section 6 of RA 6657; and that penalties will be given to any public officer or employee who violates the law. Penalties include dismissal from office and perpetual absolute disqualification without prejudice to other criminal, civil or administrative penalties provided by law.
“While we intend to keep the sanctity of land titles and the procedure for registration, we aim to streamline bureaucracy and do away with procedures that serve no other purpose but to delay the proceedings and entail unnecessary costs to the registrant. More importantly, this will encourage more registrations,” Relampagos stressed. “Let us not complicate things. The simpler, the better. Let us make bureaucracy work for the people.”
The house bill was approved by the Committee and will be subject to second reading once the Committee Report has been duly approved and signed.